Overcoming infertility, miscarriage, and recurrent miscarriage
Infertility is frustrating enough, but what's even worse is becoming
pregnant only to have all of your hopes and dreams end in miscarriage.
Just when you think you've paid your dues, you think the universe
couldn't be so cruel as to have this happen over and over again.
That's what I used to think before I realized there was much I
could do to overcome both infertility and miscarriage. I have
finally come to the conclusion that there are few things in life
we can't control. We are not victims of circumstance. We can be
empowered by realizing that we own (and control) our bodies, our
minds, and our ability to attract what we want in our life. It's
not that I think women are responsible for their infertility and/or
miscarriages, it's just that whenever you place yourself in the
“victim” mode, you automatically feel like there's
nothing you can do.
I will admit, there may be physiological factors contributing
to miscarriage requiring medical intervention; however, in my
case, it was a matter of restoring the delicate balance of my
hormones and reproductive system. I had six miscarriages before
having my beautiful daughter. But when it was right, it was right.
I had her at the age of 44 and conceived her without fertility
treatments. I had a totally uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery
and if I do say so myself, my daughter is perfect in every way.
Getting pregnant is an orchestration of synchronistic events
that play out like a beautiful musical masterpiece. Each instrument
has to play on cue. It's mind boggling to think about everything
that must occur for successful conception, implantation, and finally,
pregnancy. After undergoing a series of unsuccessful fertility
treatments (including IVF twice—which resulted in the removal
of a fallopian tube after an ectopic pregnancy), I was still certain
that I could have a baby the "old fashioned" way even
with one tube. Now that I understand how to restore the delicate
balance of my reproductive system, I shudder to think about how
all the drugs and hormones associated with fertility treatments
may have been one of the major obstacles to my success. It's like
the proverbial “bull in a china shop”. I was injecting
myself with powerful fertility drugs, resulting in major mood
swings, hyperstimulation of my ovaries, and estrogen levels that
were off the chart. We spent $25,000 of our hard-earned money
only to walk away with nothing. In retrospect, I think about how
that $25,000 could have been a college fund for my daughter, and
it's amazing how financially conservative we are with every other
aspect of our life. I can't think of any other medical procedure
done on basically healthy people that is so risky, expensive,
and has such marginal success rates. It's just that you want a
baby so bad, you're willing to do anything and therein lies the
danger. Most of us have been so conditioned to seek medical and
pharmaceutical help for every disorder, we don't even consider
the "natural route".
With each miscarriage, I was heartbroken but I took comfort in
knowing I could still get pregnant. None of the doctors could
tell me why I was miscarrying, so they usually fell back on the
dismal "pregnancy and miscarriage" statistics at my
age. I didn't buy it. I politely nodded by head and thought "blah
blah blah, I'm outta here!" I knew I just needed to get each
section of my orchestra to play in synch. It would be impossible
to try to control microscopic events like ovulation, fertilization,
implantation, etc. But what I could control is how my body functioned
on a "macro" level. I did my research and developed
a pregnancy protocol that prepared my body and mind and examined
a number of other contributing factors such as stress and how
my less than perfect upbringing was affecting my fertility. I'm
completely convinced that there is a mind-body connection controlling
many women's ability to get pregnant and stay pregnant.
Let's look at some of the factors contributing to infertility
and miscarriage that we can control:
I can already hear you saying "here we go again—stress
management, tell me something I don't already know". But
let's take a closer look. I found that there seems to be a profile
of women who suffer from infertility and miscarriage. They tend
to be very career and goal oriented, driven by deadlines, and
may think that they're expected to “have it all” or
at least “all at once”. This attitude is totally inconsistent
with getting pregnant and staying pregnant. I had absolutely no
idea how much stress I was under until I finally quit my management
job. I look back now and can't believe what a pressure cooker
I was in every day. At the time I thought I was handling my stress
quite well, but now that I have the benefit of hindsight, I realize
I was constantly functioning in the "fight or flight"
The American diet is about as bad as it gets and as other countries
get more "Americanized" their diets are declining as
well. Even though I've always maintained a body weight that was
in the normal range, I still wasn't eating foods that promoted
fertility. I researched food and nutrition publications and followed
a diet high in hormone-regulating foods, fruits, and vegetables.
Regulating hormones is also critical in preventing miscarriage.
As a bonus, foods that are good for fertility are happen to be
great anti-aging strategies as well! It's great for my ego when
people ask me, "Are you going to have another baby?"
and I am now 47 years old!
Visualization and meditation
If you really want to attract something into your life, you need
to see yourself as already having it. Many amateur and professional
athletes use a combination of visualization and meditation before
their competitions. It's no different if you're trying to get
pregnant or if you're already pregnant and you want to stay that
way. I developed a number of visualization and meditation techniques
which helped me get pregnant and carry to term.
Examine your attitudes about family and children
You should go back and confront your long-held attitudes about
family and children. I grew up with parents who were totally mismatched,
and as a result, I didn't even want children until I was in my
late 30s. I had such negative impressions of marriage and family
that it's no wonder my body was sabotaging my efforts to get pregnant
and stay pregnant. I had to get my mind and body in synch. When
I ran a women's infertility support group, I was always amazed
at the number of women who said "I always knew I was going
to have a hard time getting pregnant!" Seems to be a bit
of a self fulfilling prophecy, doesn't it?
Again, there are some women who have physiological factors that
contribute to their infertility and or miscarriages, and it may
be impossible for them to have a successful pregnancy without
medical intervention. But for me, everything seemed to fall in
the unexplained category. Well, I finally found the explanation:
my orchestra needed some fine tuning. It was very empowering when
I finally realized I was in control of my body, not the doctors!
Copyright © 2006 Sandy Robertson
About the Author:
Sandy Robertson is the author of You
Can Get Pregnant Over 40, Naturally. She is a stay-at-home
mom who also writes and teaches part-time at a local community
college. She has volunteered for her local infertility organization
as the women's support group leader and continues to speak to
women and couples struggling with infertility and miscarriage.
She recently started the Get
Pregnant Over 35 and 40 online support and discussion boards.