Saturday, 26 March 2011

Needles and nourishment

I went for my first acupuncture session today in preparation for ivf2. I did have two acu sessions during ivf1 but they were on the day of transfer and in the two week wait and I did them mostly because I thought I should, so not sure I got a huge amount from them. But I wanted to give my body and mind a chance to benefit from it before the next ivf cycle as I know some people swear by it.

The acupuncturist was lovely - in her 30s and South African - very gentle and thorough with her questions, especially around my cycle. She seemed very knowledgeable about everything in that department which put me at ease as she didn't come recommended by anyone, I just came across her details on a website.

Once we'd got through all the questions, she looked at my tongue, then got me to lay down and felt my pulse. Then she started putting the needles in. She did one in my forehead, one in each ear, two in each foot (one on the front and one on the side), one on each leg near the knee, a couple in my stomach (one near the belly button, one nearer the pubic bone) and one on my chest just below the collar bone.

She said from what I'd told her, her focus would be on nourishing my blood as I have very light, very short periods, a short luteal phase and low progesterone. She said she'd also work on helping to regulate my sleep as I've been sleeping very restlessly lately and I have these night panics where I wake up with a jolt, my heart's racing and I feel very scared and it takes me a while to calm down and go back to sleep.

I only felt a couple of the needles go in but on the whole I barely felt a thing. The only one I was aware of throughout was the one in my left ear which kind of ached a bit. She left me lying down with the needles for about 10-15 mins and regularly checked my pulse.

I asked her what she could tell from my tongue and my pulse and she said overall I just needed 'nourishing' as everything was a bit below what it should be. I liked her use of the word 'nourishing', it felt comforting for some reason. She also said she could feel a build-up of grief and anxiety around my lungs/chest and wanted to ease that - I felt a bit emotional when I left the session so maybe she unblocked a little something there already.

I don't know a huge amount about acupuncture, I guess I'll find out more as I go along but it's definitely a relaxing experience and a lot of what she said made sense. I suppose it also feels good to know I might be doing something constructive to help my body get pregnant. Let's face it, it needs all the help it can get... And maybe even just going means I'm getting more used to the idea of another ivf cycle.

When I read the tweets and blogs of my fellow IFers, it breaks my heart to know what some people go through to have a baby. It should be the most natural process in the world but when it doesn't work, it makes you question everything about yourself, your womanhood and, sometimes, your place on this earth. I have never felt so insecure about myself as I do now, even in a strong and loving marriage with close friends and family around me. But I see how tough all the ladies in this IF community are, many of whom go through such horrendous ordeals, make huge sacrifices and devote everything they have, every ounce of themselves - time, money, energy, health, sanity - to making their dream of having a baby come true.

It not only humbles me, it gives me strength and courage to keep on going until my dream comes true too.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Getting back on that horse

I’ve tried so many times to update my blog but I’ve generally got as far as the opening sentence, stared at the screen for a while, closed the document and then hit ‘Don’t Save’.

I just haven't known what I want to say. It’s now nearly seven weeks since IVF 1 failed and there’s still a fairly jumbled up mess inside my head. I feel so differently day to day, usually a mix of numb, sad, anxious and fearful. And this past week I've started to feel that overwhelming longing again, that ache in my heart.

Seven weeks on and my instinct is still to crawl into a hole and hide. Not great.

But I'm pushing myself to move on. I need to get my head straight and my confidence back so I'm ready to tackle another cycle. After all, in about 10 days I'm turning 39. Eek. Tick tock tick tock...

So I'm starting to speak to and see my friends and family more, I signed up for some volunteer work with local elderly people and we've decided to start trying naturally again. I'm going to back off from the alcohol, eat more healthily again and get reacquainted with those pre-natal vitamins. Yep, I'm getting back on that horse.

But most importantly, I keep reminding myself of what's good in my life. My Twitter/blog family are an amazing source of never-ending support and I'm incredibly lucky to have close family and friends around me. But at the centre of all of this is my husband. He's been an absolute rock these last couple of months and has kept me going. I am hugely grateful to have him by my side.

Well, I seem to have written something resembling a blog.

Onwards and upwards.