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.