Embracing TCM

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been reading The Infertility Cure. The book focuses on TCM and how it can be beneficial for those struggling with infertility. Within the first few pages, I felt a connection to the material and became excited to read more about how I could supplement the Western medicine (specifically my upcoming IVF) with Eastern.

The book includes a list of 100+ questions about your body, your habits, your menses, and the like. It’s broken down by the organs that govern its function (liver, spleen, lung, heart and kidney) and the vital substances of the body (Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood). Even if you know virtually nothing about TCM (I didn’t), you probably know that balance is important. After answering the yes/no questions, it became very obvious to see which areas of me likely had an imbalance. For example, I answered nearly all of the questions related to spleen function with yes (crave sweets, fatigue, sweat with little exertion, obsessive worry, easy bruising), indicating that I am deficient in spleen qi. All of these symptoms of this deficiency — things that I generally thought were just “me” and normal — quickly made so much sense. And after three and a half years of trying and failing to have a baby, something actually making sense is pretty rare.

Last week I met with my acupuncturist for the first time, and I immediately loved her. She’s warm and friendly, and perhaps most importantly, eager to help me get pregnant (and stay that way). I feel that way about my fertility doctor and nurses, but she brings a distinct energy to Team Baby. I like it, and I feel at ease with her.

I don’t have a phobia of needles (unlike my husband), so I wasn’t very nervous to try acupuncture. I already knew that it wouldn’t hurt and would (hopefully) relax me. I spend much of my time feeling like a ball of anxiety because of infertility, so spending 45 minutes lying down under the directive to let things go is comforting. Plus, acupuncture is a positive thing that I can do for my body that requires no significant effort on my part. I don’t hate that.

My homework following my first session was pretty simple — substantially cut back on my sugar intake, drink more water, and take an herbal supplement I was given. The latter two being easy-peasy. But cutting sugar would be my Everest. Sugar and I are BFFs. Because, ya know, it’s delicious. I’m one of those people whose mouths hang wide open when someone says they’re “not a dessert person.” I legitimately do not understand when I hear that.

tumblr_nnqe8djcoz1tq4of6o1_500

I’m more than a week down. I’ve turned down cupcakes and chocolate lava cake with a snickerdoodle topping, just in the last two days. And I hate to admit it, but I feel a bit better. I’m adjusting to one stevia in my morning coffee. The sugar I have eaten has almost exclusively come from fruit (which my acupuncturist encouraged, particularly berries which will help me “build up my blood” – another areas where I was lacking, apparently). And while fruit is no ice cream with hot fudge, I’m enjoying it.

I’m eager to see more positive changes as a result of TCM and acupuncture in the coming weeks, especially as I start my IVF meds in a little more than a week.

#TeamBaby