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Sweater / Mug c/o

In my last post on this topic, I said I wasn’t going to talk about my fertility situation again until I was pregnant, but I’ve experienced some things that I really want to share in the hopes that it can help someone else on their own journey. I’ve turned a major leaf in the last few weeks, so read on and find out how.

When I wrote about my miscarriages at the beginning of the summer, I was in a better place but still hyper-focused on getting pregnant… pretty much on a daily basis. That feeling lasted for over a year, since my first pregnancy last August. Finally, about a month ago, after feeling exhausted and fed up with feeling sorry for myself, I made an appointment with a fertility specialist here in Stamford. My doctor recommended her as the best around so I was excited to hear what she had to say.

I went into the appointment full of hope, but left the building angry and upset. After looking at all of my blood work and test results, she told me that I officially have “unexplained infertility”, a term that I keep hearing lately. I then told her about my struggles with sleep and severe anxiety, and her response was that neither of those things have anything to do with it. My jaw dropped to the floor. I couldn’t believe that she would dismiss these seemingly obvious problems that have scientifically been proven to correlate with infertility (Other doctors have since confirmed that, BTW). Not to mention she didn’t ask one question about my diet, exercise or lifestyle aside to ask if I smoked cigarettes.

Her solution? Clomid (a drug used to stimulate ovulation, which isn’t actually a problem that I have) and IUI (inter-uterine insemination). I let her know that I didn’t feel comfortable with the Clomid (a personal decision, it definitely works for many other people though!) and I would have to go think about it. I left the office feeling deflated and hopeless.

I immediately emailed both my acupuncturist and my fertility coach Aimee (yep I have both!) and they both responded: “Don’t do the Clomid, let’s talk first”. So with their encouragement, I decided to get a second opinion. Upon Aimee’s suggestion, I set up a phone consultation with a doctor from CCRM, a well-known Colorado-based fertility clinic that has opened up a post in NYC. Tip: The in-person consultations cost a fortune but they’ll do phone consults for free!

On the call, the doctor talked to me and Anel for an hour, reviewing our case and discussing our diet and exercise, supplement plan, and even the work I’ve been doing with acupuncture. For the first time, I felt like I found a doctor who really understood me and looked at the full picture. She made a few changes to my supplements and recommended some more blood tests, stating that Clomid might be a solution down the line, but not until we learn more. Since then, all of my tests have come back negative, which means that medically, I’m perfectly fertile.

When I told her about my experience with the doctor here, she said that it’s unfortunately pretty common in this business for doctors to be results-driven in a speedy way as opposed to remembering that the woman is human being whose health and wellness is important as well. The takeaway here is that you should always get a second opinion if you don’t feel comfortable with the solution. I’m so glad that I did!

After these appointments and the call, I had a revelation… I don’t know what happened but something switched inside of me and since then, I’ve had a totally new outlook on the situation. For the last year it’s been a constant nagging in my mind, thinking about what days I’m ovulating, disappointment when I get my period, and enduring “the two-week wait” month after month. I’m sick of that, I’m sick of feeling sad, I’m sick of wanting for something that I can’t control.

I’ve realized since then that I don’t need a baby right away. It would be amazing and I can’t wait to be a mom but I don’t need to be one tomorrow or even this year. My mom didn’t have me (her first kid) until she was 35 and she is the best mom in the universe (I might be biased). So our new plan is to give it another year of trying naturally, and we’ll explore medical options next summer if we’re still not pregnant.

Instead of holding back on things like planning trips or saying things like “Well if we get pregnant this month I can tell my family at Thanksgiving!” or “If I get pregnant before Christmas we can announce it on our Christmas card!”. No, now I have no expectations and it feel so good. In weeks since I’ve made this mental shift, I’ve felt so much happier and healthier, and Anel and I are in a better place than we have been in over a year.

So what am I doing in our next “year of trying”? I’m taking a lot of supplements, drinking bone broth daily, cutting back on drinking, getting as much sleep as possible, and trying to enjoy every single day. I also switched every single cleaner in our home to natural options. Basically my thoughts are: do as much as I can that makes me feel good and leave the rest up to the Universe, or God, or whatever you want to call it. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll reassess.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy life to it’s fullest and stop worrying so much. I’m working on getting in the best shape ever (props to my trainer Madison!), eating a healthy diet (I’m now 90% gluten free thanks to Aimee and have so much more energy), keeping up with my acupuncture sessions (twice a month with Ailin), meditating daily, and appreciating the beautiful life that I’ve already created for myself and Anel without a baby.

I can’t tell you how much of a difference this new mindset has made. Everyone kept telling me over the last year to let it go and live my life but I just couldn’t seem to do that. Now that I have, I totally get what they meant. Sometimes you have to go through the worst of it to get to the other side.

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25 Comments

  1. Kelly Champagne

    That’s an amazing realization and props to you for living each day to the fullest. I think the lack of worry and stress will be exactly what your body needs. You may already know about these resources but the Fertility Friday podcast is great, and the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility might be helpful as well. Thanks so much for sharing! Best of luck!

  2. Thank you, Julia. My husband and I have yet to start trying, but seeing friends struggle and hearing your story has me a bit more realistic about the journey we are about to embark on. But thank you for a positive spin on it all and the way you’re staying positive. I think we’re a lot alike with the planning, so having you share a story about letting go, is inspiring. I wish you a lot of luck and thank you again for a great outlook and sharing.

  3. Julia Dzafic

    Hi Sarah. Thank you so much for reaching out again! Sometimes I miss Snapchats (especially on Q&A days) or forget them bc they disappear. I so appreciate every piece of information so thanks for sharing. I’m going to check out Dr. Fox and read what he has to say right now!

  4. Sarah Klein

    You are so strong and amazing for being able to share such a hard personal subject! I had messaged you on snap chat on Monday during your Q&A about your infertility struggle. I don’t want to come across like I’m pushing anything on you (because I kind of feel like I am and it’s not my intention at all)! I just wanted to send you a little more information on the Physician I spoke to you about. I know you don’t struggle with PCOS but insulin response in our body is a huge factor in pregnancy. I am beyond passionate about learning how our body works and there is so many studies and science backing this! The Dr. I listened to at the conference is Dr. Michael D. Fox. He is a fertility specialists out of Florida. I hope this helps you a little, It’s just small changes that can make such a huge difference and you are so confidant already! ~Sarah Kaye

  5. Julia Dzafic

    Hi Caitlin! I hope your appointment went well and you got the answers you were looking for. If not, move on to another doc! You have to feel comfortable 🙂

  6. Julia Dzafic

    Hi Kendall! Thank you so much for saying that, it means a lot. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through, but glad to hear you’ve found your “team” as I have. It makes such a difference, doesn’t it?

    I’m definitely going to check that book out right now!! Sounds like exactly what I’m looking for.

    Best of luck to you too! xx

  7. Julia Dzafic

    Wow that is terrifying. I knew it had some rough side effects but didn’t realize it could be that bad. Thank you for the positive thoughts!

  8. Julia Dzafic

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’ve definitely cut back on drinking but am considering cutting it out completely. Ugh, but I don’t want to haha. Interesting to hear though. And thanks again!

  9. Julia Dzafic

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve gone through and know that you aren’t alone. So many women are in similar positions and it’s important that we all lift each other up through the difficult times! Sending so much love xo

  10. Julia Dzafic

    Thank you so much for such a beautiful response and you’re positivity!

  11. The JetSetting Fashionista

    Julia thanks for sharing what I am sure is a very challenging and personal topic. It is great reading open honest women like you share something so many women face and are challenged by as well. Stay positive I’m sure it will work out I always hear amazing success stories with women who have faced similar challenges. You are so amazing, positive and have the best attitude!! Such a great role model. XO Emily

  12. Kudos to you for being so open to us! You are empowering me to move on. I have so many regrets and desperately need a therapist to help me let it go about not having children. I had fibroids removed twice and then a partial hysterectomy. Women see my kangaroo pouch and think it is from having kids but it is actually scar tissue from the surgeries. So, it is a constant reminder for me. If only I had these internet resources 8 years ago and more women like yourself to discuss infertility. Going forward, I pray you continue to embrace your loving community. Be well!

  13. If it is any consolation, I also had “unexplained infertility,” and here I am now with a two-year-old daughter and a son due March 2017. I know different things work for different people, but if it’s any consolation, I also refused the clomid and was still able to get pregnant (twice – four times if you count the miscarriages between the two pregnancies). What worked tremendously in my favor was 100% eliminating alcohol. Other than that, no lifestyle changes – but to begin with, similar to you, I am a non-smoker who works out 5-6 times a week and makes predominantly healthy food choices. You’re doing everything right – it WILL happen. xo

  14. So happy to read this positive update – you go lady! I did some PR for a conception solution and learned that Chlomid can really increase your chances of ovarian cancer. Scary stuff. Of course, everyone’s decisions are their own, and you must consult with a doc. Great to hear that you found the Colorado clinic. Keep up the positive efforts and thinking! Trust that the timing will work out as it should and we’ll be cheering you on!

  15. Thanks for the update. I takes a lot of courage to be open and honest about the process with your readers and for those of us going through the same thing, it just means the world.

    It’s nice to see your refreshing approach to all of this – I’m hoping some of your positivity will wear off on me! I too felt pressured into clomid/IUI after two miscarriages and I regret not expressing my concerns at the time. I proceeded as instructed because I so desperately want our baby but, unfortunately it didn’t work out. It’s been a struggle, but I think I finally found the support team (acupuncture, therapist, RE, etc) that can get me through this.

    I would highly recommend reading “Stick it to me baby” by Danica Thornberry. She is my acupuncturist but our sessions are very therapeutic and focused on the mind body connection. She explores these positive feelings you describe in great detail and really helps her clients/readers view this difficult time as a spiritual journey. Very empowering.

    Anyway- Good Luck as you continue on your journey and thanks again for sharing!

  16. I could have written this post a few years ago! I made my sister pick out certain bridemaid dresses that had a maternity option… you know just in case. I unfortunately did let infertility rule my life for a few years and I deeply regret that but it was just part of my journey. I am so glad you found the right fit with your Dr. I highly recommend CCRM, a close friend went there. It took us 5 Doctors and 4 Fertility clinics till we found the right one. I also changed my diet, did Accupuncture three times a week and IVF is what finally brought us our son. You have to do it all in your own time though, don’t let anyone rush you into anything you aren’t comfortable with. Be good to yourself and kudos to you being so open & sharing your story.

  17. Kelly in the City

    Thinking of you, Girl. And love your positive attitude — It makes a difference; really! 🙂 xoxoxo

  18. Thank you for sharing, I am so glad for you about your change in mindset! I just recently had a change in mindset myself about something different that I have been struggling with, and it really does help you so much! It’s like the weight you’ve been carrying around is finally lifted. I am very glad you got a second opinion as well. It sounds like the second Doctor was really able to take the time to talk to you and your husband and that is definitely what you want! Sending lots of prayers your way!! 🙂

  19. It is not about pointing fingers but has your partner had his sperm tested ? Also, have you both had a genetic test? Miscarriages are a common reaction of the female body when there is something wrong with either the females chromosomes in the egg or the chromosomes in the sperm. I had a miscarriage recently which really upset me but my doctor said something that made me see miscarriages as something not so horrible – she said it is better that my body reacted to the chromosome that has not developed correctly rather than going through full term pregnancy and having a still born child, a baby that might not survive once born or a baby with a disability. She also said that if that happens another 2-3 times in a row then we should both have genetic test done and depending on the results consider IVF which because the procedure is selective and they only choose healthy eggs/sperm . I wish you and your partner both best od luck !!!!

  20. I swear progesterone saved my two pregnancies!

  21. I love your mindset but you know my thoughts on wine, AND you’re the healthiest person I know!

  22. Wow, it’s crazy how one doctor can say one thing and then another can show you a whole new outlook! Good luck with everything and I agree that the steps you’ve taken to eat better and live a more natural lifestyle are amazing ways to enjoy life!

    XO
    Amanda
    http://www.affordablebyamanda.com

  23. I love this! You seem like you’re doing all the things that make you feel healthy and amazing and that is never a bad thing!

  24. I’m so happy for you. I can only imagine how the stress you experienced for the last year must have impacted your day-to-day happiness. So glad that you are feeling more at peace with the process!

  25. Gail Caffrey

    I worked for an ob/gyn and progesterone levels while pregnant are very important. Most of our repeat miscarriage patients were prescribed progesterone suppositories with great success.

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