HOW LISA FINALLY GOT PREGNANT
I spent 10 years dating my now-husband trying desperately not to get pregnant. All through college, his law school and our young professional lives, we doubled up on birth control: I was always on the pill and he used condoms. We were that cautious. Finally, almost three years into marriage, we felt ready to try for a baby.
In February 2014, I went off the pill expecting to get pregnant in about a minute. I'm a healthy, active 29-year-old who eats organic and tries to lead a stress-free life. My period is more regular than any high-speed rail and everyone has always told me how easy it would be to conceive. "You'll be preggers within a month!" friends and family had all shouted with glee well before I was trying. I've even had psychics tell me how fertile I am.
The first month without a period I was elated because I figured we'd been lucky enough to get pregnant with our first try. But multiple pregnancy tests revealed otherwise. Then March, April and May went by and I wasn't anywhere closer to being pregnant. I still hadn't resumed a post-pill period.
For the first few months I told myself to be patient and not obsess over whatever was (or wasn't) going on with my body. Stressing out is the surest way not to get pregnant, right? But instead of rubbing my pressure points with calming essential oils and practicing some downward dog, I found myself falling down the wormhole of infertility message boards.
I started to make a list of what might potentially be wrong with me and categorically researched them one by one: PCOS, fibroids, poor liver or thyroid function, premature ovulation failure, and every other scary Google search term I could come up with. I knew I'd eventually have to get tested but told myself to wait a full year. I circled February 2015 on my calendar in red ink.
By June I was frantically searching for alternative therapies. I had seen my OB-GYN and she assured me that I was healthy and should just be patient. When I told her that I'd been reading about acupuncture and the positive effect it could have on fertility, she gave me the green light to try it. I had heard that acupuncture could help women resume ovulation and preferred to do things as naturally as possible. So rather than step on the gas to a fertility clinic (which was tempting), I decided to give acupuncture a shot. My doc agreed that Traditional Chinese medicine was a good option since I wasn't in a huge rush to get pregnant. (If I had been, she recommended I take an ovulation-enhancing drug like Clomid.)
The idea of letting someone stick me with myriad needles on a weekly basis was a little off-putting at first. But I was assured that there are no serious risks.
I endured three months of being poked with tiny needles and then one evening, before attending a particularly wine-fueled holiday party, I decided to take a pregnancy test. Just to be safe.
One pink line appeared. And then another. Two pink lines. Pregnant.
I figured it had to be a mistake. When my husband came back from the drugstore with two more pregnancy tests and both came up positive, we stared at each other in disbelief. How could I be pregnant? Is this some kind of miracle?
We don't believe in magic, but I do know that without my weekly acupuncture with Dr. Rappaport I never would have gotten pregnant.