I am by nature about as conservative as they come. Not to say that I have ever been conservative in my behavior. I think we have already documented substantial evidence to the contrary in 8 short blog posts. But I am a banker. I am risk averse. I used to vote straight ticket for a particular presidential party. Every year.
Not to say I am a devout right winger or fundamentalist, I am not. I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Its not religion or tradition that cause me to be conservative. Its the way my brain works. When I read for fun, I read books on economics. If I were to win the lottery I would probably go back to school and get a doctorate in the subject. Its what makes me tick. And when you think that way you tend to align with whatever party is most likely to stay out of the way of the market.
Infertility is a powerful thing. Powerful enough to turn this conservative banker into a free-spirited hippie. Or at least an aspiring hippie.
Acupuncture is the gateway treatment that leads to a host of other remedies and practices that any patient is bound to try if she goes through fertility treatments long enough. Acupuncture is where it all begins. You see, most clinics either have acupuncturists on staff or have several to whom they refer patients. Acupuncturists will actually attend your embryo transfer with you and will do “points” before and after the procedure to aid with implantation. It’s not myth or majestic mojo but a well documented fact that it works. Acupuncture is scientifically proven to increase blood flow, improve implantation rates, and even help deal with more acute fertility issues like cysts. The positive impacts are indisputable. And of course its not hard to convince an IVF patient that just a few more needles won’t hurt. We are easy targets.
I have a tendency to throw myself into anything new with abandon, especially if there is even a slim chance it might get me pregnant. So when I began seeing an acupuncturist I decided to learn all I could about Eastern medicine. I read “The Web that Has No Weaver” and learned about meridians and how blood and qi (pronounced “chee”) move through them. I practiced Qi-Gong (that funny looking and slow moving judo type thing you see old Chinese people do in movies). I read a book called “The Dao of Fertility” that taught me prayers for fertility that I taped and listened to while practicing meditation. I eventually memorized them.
It was just the beginning. I bought guided meditation tapes for infertility. I took herbs. I decided to stop exercising so much for awhile to spend more time “in the fertile valley”. I put a golden egg that is supposed to help fertility on my night stand.
Most importantly, I switched to a mostly organic and hormone free diet. This is when the real transformation took place.
In our rural area if you truly want to go organic and do it the right way, it requires you to go to the local co-op grocery store to shop. Our co-op is exactly what you would expect a local co-op in an area like ours to be like in this day and age. There is an incredible selection of food, wines, a bakery, and even a hot lunch bar. It has a whole section of organic beauty products that all leave you smelling a little bit like patchouli. There are signs against fracking next to signs about cooking without gluten.
In the past, if I went there for some reason I always felt a little weird. Creepy even. Like everyone there in dreadlocks and tie-dye had me pegged for who and what I was. I felt like they wanted me out of there. I didn’t belong. I didn’t like it at all. I would go in and get my herbs or whatever I needed and high tail it out of there as quickly as possible. It was like I was allergic or something. I dreaded my visits.
Oh what a difference four years and a little trouble conceiving make. Gradually, one organic shopping trip after another I started to feel comfortable. Then I started to enjoy it. And finally, I was a convert. A full-on hippie. I would regularly burn incense and moxa in the house, but Bill won’t let me go that far. Believe me, I have tried and been quickly shut down.
These days I eat lunch at the co-op every day that I am in town for work. I buy gluten free goods from the bakery. I am an official card carrying co-op owner. When I go there fresh from acupuncture and massage with a faint odor of essential oils emanating from my skin I look around at the people there and think, “These are my people. We are all searching for peace and bliss together. I am home.”
While I may never be thankful for infertility no matter how much peace and bliss I find, I am at least thankful for some of what it has taught me and many of the friends I have made a long the way. Like the two acupuncturists I have worked with since this all started. They are both wonderful and knowledgeable women I may not have gravitated toward in my old life, and vice versa. Today I would call them both great friends in addition to critical members of “Team Baby Winslow 2.”
Yes. Infertility has changed me a great deal, but has not changed everything.
I no longer vote straight ticket, but it probably hasn’t changed my individual votes all that often. I still am who I am. However at least I think about my choices for a minute instead of blindly doing the same thing over and over again without sound reason. At least there is that. And of course the beautiful people I have met a long the way that I can now call friends.
My only hope is that by writing this blog I haven’t alienated any other friends from either side of the political fence. After all, the only thing scarier than going public with your struggles in baby making is going public with your political affiliation.
Just remember, it’s all about LOVE people. L-O-V-E. Love.