Why do I LOVE working with women who are struggling with fertility?
I’ve had a few patients ask me this over the last few weeks: how did you start working with fertility patients? This normally launches me into a few connecting stories and tirades, so I wanted to share the Coles notes version with you — just in case you were curious!
So that up there is a few of MY faces of infertility. On the left, I’m dedicated to my adjunctive fertility treatments, including my acupuncture, my nutrition, my exercise, my mindset, my sleep and my supplements. In the middle, I’m happily being ME in the middle of a normal work day. And on the right, I’m anxiously, nervously and excitedly awaiting my FET procedure.
What isn’t clearly visible from these images are:
- the massive anxiety and terror before each medical procedure;
- the pent up nervous energy and hurricane of fear/excitement during the TWW;
- the heartbreak of every negative pregnancy test, my next period showing up and every time I’m asked “So when will it be your turn?”;
- the agony from all of my trials and tribulations of my fertility journey that tried to BREAK me; and
- the grief and devastation of our pregnancy loss.
- the immense joy finally meeting my little guy after 5 long years of struggles and waiting;
- the relief in knowing that my body FINALLY didn’t betray me and made a safe home for my little guy for almost 37 weeks;
- the grit and dedication of staying the course despite the whispers in the back of my head (plus the external ones too!) that maybe this just wasn’t meant to be;
- the gratitude I have for my entire health team and naturopathic medicine for helping me become one of the incredibly lucky ones to hold my baby; and
- the HOPE of currently chasing after my rainbow baby.
I struggled with endometriosis from the time I was 12 years old — long before I knew what it was. I saw many doctors who either told me I was being “dramatic” or that there was nothing they could do for me. This eventually led me to naturopathic medicine, where I was finally “heard” and given guidelines on what I could do to make it better. I worked very hard on these suggestions and I started seeing results, which was how I got hooked on naturopathic medicine!
Those years of medical appointments where I wasn’t believed are the driving force behind my goal to thoroughly listen to and empathise with my patients during their visits. It drives me to help as many women as possible through their menstrual struggles.
I’ve always been drawn to working with couples trying to get pregnant. That interest sky-rocketed into a full blown passion as I struggled with my own fertility. It took us 5 very long years with MANY hiccups along the way before we met our little guy.
I know how crushing, isolating and discouraging it feels with each negative pregnancy test and the start of your next period. I know that I was extremely lucky to know who to add my fertility healthcare team. I’m also acutely aware that many people struggle through their TTC years alone. I want to be on your team to guide you through your fertility journey and hopefully celebrate with you on the other side.
For my patients who do reach the other side, I’m also there to support you throughout your pregnancy and well into your “fourth trimester” when every new mom needs the most support to take care of HERSELF but rarely ever has the time to stop and have a hot tea/coffee, let alone work on self-care! I’m here to hold you accountable to taking care of you so that you can take care of your baby that you’ve work so incredibly hard to hold.
Back to YOU
And for all of my patients who reach the end of their fertility journeys, I strive to work together with you to build you back up and acquaint yourself with the new person that you’ve become. It’s impossible to go back in time and be that person you once were — the naive one who went along in your teens, 20s and even a part of your 30s trying to prevent an “accidental pregnancy” and just blissfully assuming that when you decided to start trying, “it would just all work out”. Instead, I work with my patients to achieve optimal health beyond their fertility struggles because infertility does not define the ENTIRE you. It’s only one (or maybe a few!) chapters in your book of life.