This is a guest post by Dawnmarie Childs on Not Getting Pregnant – and how she managed to turn things around.
It was about a year ago that I last contributed to Nathalie’s blog about my achievements through a raw food diet. I was not getting pregnant. In 2006, I was fat, tired, depressed, anxious, constipated, separated from my husband, and infertile. At least that is what the reproductive endocrinologist told me. “Your FSH is too high. You need an egg donor. There is nothing I can do for you.” He was right. There was nothing he could do for me. But there was something I could do for myself. Never one to take “No” for an answer, I researched what I could do to improve my fertility… and I found raw foods.
I Was Not Getting Pregnant – Was Food to Blame?
While I couldn’t find anything in the human medical literature about food and fertility, I did find a veterinary article regarding heifers and their improvement of reproduction with dietary changes. That, paired with the information in Gabriel Cousens’ Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine, where he reported that hormonal changes can be improved with diet, I decided to give raw a go.
I was strictly raw for three years and in that time, I went from the above with numerous prescribed and over the counter pills, to needing absolutely nothing. My blood sugars stabilized, my anxiety and depression resolved, my cholesterol lowered to about 87, my blood pressure lowered, my weight was in a healthful range, but my FSH continued to rise.
Still looking for answers, I sought other treatment in addition to the raw foods diet. Clear Passages in Florida, through Osteopathic based techniques, helped relieve pelvic adhesions that could interfere with fertility. Colonics improved my bowel health. Supplements helped replace missing enzymes and essential nutrients. DHEA was to help improve “egg quality.” And yoga was added to open the pelvis.
While I was working toward better health, my online friendship turned into romance. Jerry and I were married in March of last year. I moved from one coast to the other to be with him and with his children. Prior to the move, we looked for further answers at a prominent fertility clinic in New York City. After a pelvic ultrasound and lab tests, the prognosis given wasn’t much better. My FSH more than doubled. My AMH was zero. My right ovary was defunct and my left ovary only had one follicle in production. “You need an egg donor,” was the reply that I was given. Jerry was devastated, but I was determined. We enjoyed a lovely meal at Pure Food and Wine and then contemplated the next move.
“I’m going to go back to Clear Passages for a little more work. And then I’m going to see Randine Lewis.” Randine, Osteopathically trained, converted to Chinese medicine after medical school. She holds annual retreats for those who are fertility challenged. Randine put all of my lab data into perspective for me. “Of course your AMH is zero. You are producing only one follicle at a time. The AMH that you do have isn’t measurable. It doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant.” At the retreat, I received acupuncture, an evaluation for Chinese herbal remedies, education regarding fertility, and a lot of support. I left with a renewed hope. I believed that motherhood was going to happen for me.
There Was Hope for Not Getting Pregnant
A few weeks after I returned to my new home, the herbs arrived. They smelled foul. They tasted terrible. After the first packet of herbs, I was knocked out on the couch for two days. I lowered the “dose.” I was getting nauseous. I continued to be exhausted. Something seemed to be very wrong. I felt like I was going crazy. Simple slights made me want to sob uncontrollably. I called my husband at work, very upset. And then it hit us. I was laaaaate (in Dr. Evil ally Frau voice), by 5 days. “Honey, pick up a stick on your way home from work.”
Jerry arrived with the package in his brief case. I ran to the bathroom. The results came back quickly. I wasn’t sick. I was pregnant! Alexander Perry Childs was born the day after my 42nd birthday. He was 7 pounds 7 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long. He is a healthy gorgeous boy who has more than doubled his birth weight at three months and is just growing by leaps and bounds. He is the joy of my life.
How did I get pregnant with the odds against me? Was it the raw foods? The acupuncture? The herbs? The colonics? The yoga?
By the time I met Jerry, my life was in balance. And raw foods helped bring my physical and mental well-being into equilibrium. While there are plenty of pregnancies achieved in dire circumstances, I was only going to get pregnant under ideal conditions. And thankfully, that was so. Motherhood is challenging. I would not have been supported in my first marriage as I am in this union. I also wouldn’t have wanted my child exposed to the medications that I required previously to function. And I likely would have had it more difficult during the pregnancy had I continued my health-less lifestyle I held previously.
And, as a physician, what did I learn from all of this? First of all, don’t treat the lab, treat the patient. Secondly, the body has the inherent capacity to heal itself. Thirdly, western medicine doesn’t have all of the answers. And finally, eat a whole food plant based diet, and you can achieve almost anything – not getting pregnant is reversible.