I keep jumping on and off the IVF rollercoaster. I must love a thrill, because I wait until the car is at the top of the hill, looking straight down at the ground, and then I pull the brake. Or maybe I mean break. In any case, I'm a mean tease.
So here's my latest IVF escape route: on Monday, I had an appointment with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner (Dr. M). She considers herself to be a life coach more than anything else, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I am very attached to my Western medical heritage. I was pre-med in college, until I decided passing out at the sight of blood was an undesirable trait in a doctor and moved on to something else. I've stayed somewhat in the realm of science, though, and I struggle to wholly accept alternative therapies.
But, at the same time, I'm really drawn to TCM - especially in the way that Dr. M practices it. Her philosophy (and that of TCM) revolves around the body as a whole. The image I have is of the body as an ecosystem, complete with rivers, mountains and valleys. If a river is dammed up at some point, the riverbed will become dry and desolate in certain places, and other areas will flood. Instead of pushing more water forcefully through the river (which will cause more flooding and stress on the system), she works to remove the dam and restore balance. (Well, that's my mental picture anyway.)
On the whole, she was really pleased with the lifestyle changes we've made thus far. She had some additional suggestions, many of which revolve around the lack of protein in my diet. (I've done well removing things I have trouble with, like sugar and gluten, but I need to focus more on eating foods that nourish me.) She also pinpointed a muscle in my abdomen that may be contributing to my cramps and the pressure sensation I always feel in my abdomen. I've been following her recommendations this week, and the pressure sensation is almost totally gone. I can't remember the last time I could say that.
The consult itself took two hours; C and I were really astounded at how accurately she was able to pinpoint additional symptoms and lifestyle details that I hadn't mentioned. Everything she said just made sense. Plus, she struggled with infertility herself, and a lot of her practice is from personal experience. I'm going back in a month to start acupuncture, and I'm really excited about it. C still wants to do IVF, so if this doesn't work on its own, I may be open to a combination approach. But for now, where IVF is concerned - I've hit the brakes. Again.
And the really shocking thing - I'm not only ok with it, I'm happy about it.
ETA: I should clarify, C is also really open to this avenue. When I said he still wants to do IVF, it's true - but he's willing to try this first.
19 hours ago