Monday, November 05, 2007

East Versus West

I’ve been going to an acupuncturist for fertility treatments since the beginning of October.

Yes, that means Rod and I have been trying to conceive. Unsuccessfully so far.

I decided to start doing acupuncture after eleven straight months of a roller-coaster ride of hope and dejection. (Week before my period=giddy hope. Day of my period=despair coupled with strange compulsion to eat multiple bowls of chocolate-covered ice cream.)

“What?” you say. “You’re not supposed to go worry until you’ve been trying for at least a year!”

True. If you’re under 35. And most importantly true if your menstrual cycle is regular—ie within only few days variation each month.

But I’ll be 35 in January.

And my cycle? Shit.

So I’m trying it. Acupuncture and last week something called cupping (which kinda felt like a hot stone massage.) It turns out I’ve got a blood deficiency and a major chi blockage. And there’s something up with my liver. (Ha! My inner writer so loves that.) She told me she believes both my irregular cycle and trouble conceiving are stress-related.

I know that comes as absolutely no surprise to those of you who know me in real life. How high strung is your Minerva Jane, my dears?

But wait! I’m not a doctor’s daughter for nothing. So I’m getting checked out by a reproductive endocrinologist too. Just in case there’s something horribly wrong. Like a blocked tube. Or I’ve been infested by aliens. You never know what could be going on in there. So they’re taking lots of blood at different times points in my cycle this time around. I’ll have a sonogram. We’ll see.

But the strange thing is that these two different traditions are so fucking skeptical of each other.

The reproductive endocrinologist takes one look at the list of supplements I’m on—and keep in mind we’re talking Vitamin D and Omega 3s here, nothing all that out there—and says, “Oh, I don’t know anything about this holistic stuff.”

Still, I have a feeling the integrated medical route is the best. Because I leave the acupuncturist feeling cared for and listened to; I leave the reproductive endocrinologist feeling like I’m in the hands of an efficiency expert. If there’s a flaw in the system, she’ll find it by god. I just don’t get why these two traditions can’t figure out a real way to work together. (Oh god, am I going to write, “Why can’t we all just get along?”) Why yes I am. Because really. Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Anyway. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

And for those interested: I’m still writing! Total word count as of this afternoon: 10,653. Go NaNoWriMo! If I actually finish this thing on time I’m going to be so fucking proud of myself.)

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Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

i'm so (gasp) fucking proud of you, mj!! (about the book, i mean)

and is it okay if i pray for you while i'm crossing my fingers? i'm not big on the crossing fingers thing, but i'll do it for you... and if it's okay, i'll add some prayers to the mix.

i hope it works out for you... and if/when you get pregnant, i'm definitely going to make a second trip to nyc so i can meet BABY mj :)

9:47 PM  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

I am so excited by this post...I think it's fantastic you told us about this because I bet it will relieve some stress to get it off your chest around here.

I really really believe you are on the right track with the Omega 3's...if I remember correctly, you are fairly slim with low fat diet, true? I might even suggest taking flax seed oil...if you aren't already. The ice cream binge is okay because good omega fats are associated with conception so no wonder you crave cream.

All the best and thansk for writing about this and I like you are taking both alternative and traditional methods...and depends which side of the pond you're standign in which is traditional and which is not.

Good post!

Break a leg!

11:11 PM  
Blogger Minerva Jane said...

Martha: I'll take whatever prayers you've got, honey.

Candy:good point re traditional versus not. and you know you're right--I _do_ feel less stressed.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Wow, I am so impressed that you wrote about this. Brave, my girl. You have all of my thoughts, prayers, good wishes, hugs etc every day.

I don't know if you have seen the HBO series "Tell Me You Love Me", but they address conception in a very real way. Just the scenes of the woman doing the pee tests over and over resonated with me.

The yoga you are doing is great - helps to balance out the anxiety you feel when everyone keeps telling you to RELAX! :)

9:16 PM  

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