Fertility Story: Infertility, Loss and Hope Against All Odds

May 10

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. In long conversations with her husband they debated whether or not having a child was the solution.

They had no illusions that becoming parents would require sacrifice. Looking at their finances they had to decide if they should buy a house or try to get pregnant by any means possible.

“Finally, we decided that we needed to try, or we would regret it later,” she said. “If we didn’t, looking back years from now it felt like it could be the greatest sadness we ever knew.”

They met their challenges as a team. Lisa suffered through a series of miscarriages.

“You think about how this is the most natural thing for the body to do, and mine won’t,” she said. “That’s when the loneliness starts to set in. You are doing everything right – and still nothing.”

Then Lisa’s husband was diagnosed with cancer. Plans to move forward were paused to focus on healing. Time passed, and finally they were able to proceed again.

“When we went to the fertility doctors, we had already decided we wanted to do everything and anything,” she said. “I told them to ‘Just give it all to me.’”

Lisa already regularly worked with an acupuncturist before meeting with fertility doctors at Oregon Reproductive Medicine. Her doctor, however, handed her a recommended list of preferred alternative health care providers. Liz Richards was on that list, and after researching her options Lisa said she felt the Blossom Clinic offered the most nurturing environment.

She was placed on a special diet at her first consultation, which included regulating hours allocated for sleep and exercise routines.

“When some women get put on hormones they gain a lot of weight and get depressed,” she said.  “I was this crazy ramped up person who couldn’t get enough exercise. It was the only thing I could do to help me sleep. I was rail thin.”

The new routines taught Lisa how to listen to her body cues.

“I thought it was strange that I work as a psychotherapist, and my day is about showing other people how to live within their own bodies, but here I was unable to live in my body.”

Lisa met with Rylen Feeney at Blossom Clinic for additional care to address a series of health complications both while she was trying to conceive and when she finally got pregnant. Odds always appeared to be stacked against her, she said.

When it came to her son Gabe, however, statistical improbability finally seemed to work in her favor. Now nearly 2 years old, he was conceived as a result of about 30 eggs that fertility doctors harvested from Lisa. Of those, she said, only one egg was viable and survived.

“It is amazing to me that he is here,” she said. “As a therapist, I’m not one of those people who believe that things happen for a reason. Things happen and some people just have a little more heart ache over them than others.

This was the first time that it felt that something bigger than myself was in control. It was a force of love-that’s the only way I can put it.”

Even though Lisa gave birth to a healthy child, her pregnancy was exceedingly difficult. Every week there was a new hurdle to mount or complication to fret. She spent a great deal of time living in fear of her own body, and was even placed on bed rest for a month due to irregular bleeding.

The bleeding became heavy on Christmas Day, when she called Liz in a panic.

“She went into the office that day, put a package together for me and brought it over,” she said. “I had never had that kind of support before.”

Compassionate and supportive, she said, her health care providers helped her to let go of the anxiety and turn back into trusting and loving her body again. She discovered perhaps the most significant source for this journey in a book of Hafiz poetry that she leafed through in the Blossom Clinic’s waiting room.

Having served her through difficult times, they are included below:

Excerpt 1:

Ever since Happiness heard your name,
It has been running through the streets
Trying to find you.
And several times in the last week,
God Himself has come to my door-
So sweetly asking for your address,
Wanting the beautiful warmth of your heart’s fire.

Excerpt 2:

And even if this
World burns up,
Hidden harps will still
Play here.

Excerpt 3:

Little by little,
You will turn into stars.

Even then, my dear,
You will only be
A crawling infant,
Still skinning your knees on God. . .

And become so free
In a wonderful, secret
And pure Love
That flows
From a conscious,
Infinite need for Light.

Even then, my dear,
The Beloved will have fulfilled
Just a fraction,
Just a fraction!
Of a promise
He wrote upon your Heart.

Contributed and written by Brandy Grey, Portland, Oregon. To read more Fertility Story Blossom Profiles, visit our Blog