It seems we have been very busy since the IUI in June. I had some rather unexpected (by me at least) side-effects following the fertility medications, but I think I am now past those completely. I sure hope so. We’ve celebrated my 27th birthday this month and we have been very busy seeing our friends and family. I also did a 5K mud-run to celebrate my birthday so there was time spent preparing for and recovering from that. This weekend we stayed with my extended family in a cabin in Georgia. This included a lot of laughter and good food. Sabbath morning I snuck out before anyone else was up and did a short run around the lake. I listened to hymns on my iPod and was really touched by the cool, quiet beauty. It ended up being one of the most refreshing times I have had in a while. I felt a certain peace as I climbed the hill back up to the cabin. Like I was given something of a promise from God that he is on this path with us and has a plan for us even if I feel like we are stuck waiting.
Stuck. The word keeps coming up. Stuck in the mud. Feeling a bit stuck and out of control in life. It came up again in a book recommended by a friend. This month I have read Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility by Sami S. David, MD and Jill Blakeway, L.Ac. Turns out, according to this book, I am stuck. More on that in a bit.
Dr. David and Blakeway (in case you don’t know, “L.Ac” mean licensed acupuncturist), a fertility specialty team from New York, outline their method to “support a woman’s ability to bear a child with just enough helped to get nature to do its thing.” They argue that in many cases there is a better way to help couples conceive than the “aggressive surgical, pharmacological, and technological intervention[s]” being offered by many fertility specialists. David and Blakeway lay out a plan that helps couples optimize their fertility. They don’t take an adversarial position towards Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), but they take the position that the cost and risk are, many times, not necessary. They argue that Western medicine and Chinese medicine working hand in hand can improve fertility without the expense or side effects (and risks) of ART. David and Blakeway critique western medicine for catering to a desire for instant gratification with a one-size-fits-all approach. They argue that the strength of Chinese medicine is its focus on considering the person as a whole.
The Making Babies program tells patients to eat well, de-stress, and take their vitamins. They go on to identify 5 fertility types and detail the steps for each type to maximize their fertility. The 5 types are Tired, Dry, Stuck, Pale, and Waterlogged. These types are inspired by the patterns used in traditional Chinese medicine. They then detail the steps each type should take to optimize their fertility. They suggest that a couple take a 3-month “Pre-mester” to prepare their bodies to conceive and support a pregnancy by implementing these steps.
As I said before, my type is Stuck. David and Blakeway outline foods to eat and foods to avoid; they talk about exercise, lifestyle choices and supplements that will help optimize fertility. I really appreciate the practical, specific advice and achievable steps they offer. I really appreciate that this offers solutions that are not expensive, invasive medical procedures or fertility drugs. Who can really argue with eating more vegetables, exercising more, taking vitamins, and reducing stress? We decided to give it a try. So, more vegetables and vitamins for the Foggs!
I would recommend this book for the reproductively challenged, those who are starting to try and want to be as healthy as possible to conceive, and especially physicians. This book gives you the tools, knowledge and vocabulary to improve your fertility and partner with your doctor to find the plan of action that works best for you. You can find out more about the Making Babies program here or order the book here.