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.


  1. I have everything crossed that IVF 2 is a big success for you. Im happy you felt relaxed and calm in the hands of your acupuncture lady. I think thats really important. Always here to support you through this journey. xx

  2. I'm so glad you are doing this for yourself- I too have always been a skeptic about acupuncture- but the fact that she looks at me as a whole person instead of just a uterus and pair of ovaries goes a long way to making me feel cared for throughout this process- no matter what the results.

    It's true that we all sacrifice so much for our chance to have a baby- but I also think we have gained from this struggle too.

    I remind myself every day that one way or another, I WILL be a mother.

    Hope it's your turn soon.


  3. Hey sweetie, I'm so pleased you tried acupuncture again and that you felt it was a positive experience. I've only had the one session so far but like you felt like I may as well give it a try and overall I felt calmer, so that has to a be a good thing :-)

    We will get there one day, I know we will xx

  4. What an absolutely beautiful post. I am so glad that you are discovering complementary therapies which work for you. She sounds amazing and if she made you feel safe and secure - and comforted- that sounds brilliant, it is often how i feel after a treatment - somehow wrapped up and cared for just by someone taking the time to listen to you and give you space.

    I can't even begin to know what you go through when you are someone who has to try so much for a baby. I was watching that programme on bbc3 called cherry has a baby - she talked to some amazing women who had been through god only knows what to get pregnant. ALso i listen to local bbc radio and one of the presenters has tried for 5 years and has just got preg with ivf - and through her sharing her stories, the things that have been shared have had been crying on every trip i have made- but also amazed at the strength of woman kind to keep trying.
    WIshing you every success.
    my friend has her next ivf in april two - she tried for 9 years to get preg and finally got twins two years ago - they still have "one in the freezer" so to speak so are trying again.

    I will keep you both in every thought and hope that it works for you xxxxx

  5. I have had acupuncture too during this cycle and really think it helps. I even fitted in 2 sessions while I was in Madrid! I always come out feeling more relaxed and definitely look forward to my sessions.

    Thanks for your support with my cycle honey, hope I can be there for you too.

    MyTTCstory xx