Our desire to have a family has taken us on an incredible journey of highs and lows, joy and heartbreak, and a series of decisions that would change our lives forever. After three years of marriage and persistent “trying”, my husband and I were not yet pregnant. As I was in my late thirties, I felt that our time was growing short so we began our journey of seeing doctors and specialists and having emotional conversations regarding the options that were presented to us. We decided to go ahead with IVF. The first attempt ended early as I didn’t produce any eggs. During the second attempt, we went through the entire cycle and after the longest two-week wait, we experienced emotional upheaval when we were informed that we were not pregnant. Believing that we had to try at least one more time, we embarked on our third round of IVF and we were blessed with our daughter!!! She is a miracle and we cannot express our joy at having her in our lives.
Shortly after she was born, we began expressing to each other that we did not feel complete as a family and my husband and I agreed that we wanted to have one more child. In hopes that we could get pregnant on our own, we began “trying” again. However, as I was now in my forties, the urgency for things quickly intensified. We went back to the fertility clinic and began our fourth cycle of IVF. During this time, I had a girlfriend who recommended I see if a chiropractor could help me.
During my initial consultation with the chiropractor, she recommended Accubalance as a reputable acupuncture clinic that specialized in fertility related issues. My husband and I went in for our initial consultation and met Ryan Funk. His professional and yet kind manner put us at ease and he quickly became our go-to person to answer any and every question during the rest of our journey. We began with 2-3 acupuncture appointments a week during this fourth round of IVF and I had a renewed sense of hope. Unfortunately, once again I did not produce any eggs. I was beginning to get discouraged and the emotional rollercoaster was taking its toll on every aspect of my life. At this point, we had a family friend speak into our lives that he believed that we would have another child and not give up. Our personal faith played a huge role in our journey and I would encourage anyone who is going through similar challenges, if they are a person of faith, to anchor into the beliefs and values that give them strength!
After that last cycle, Ryan had me make some further changes to help me be healthier and improve my chances of conceiving. I cut out dairy, gluten, caffeine, and obvious sugars. With renewed hope, my husband and I tried our fifth round of IVF with the fertility clinic. Our results were dramatically better. I produced a number of good-quality eggs and went through the entire round.
This time when we found out that we were not pregnant, I was absolutely devastated! I was emotionally exhausted and told my husband that I couldn’t go through “that” again. We walked away from that experience like numb zombies in a grey haze. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. When well-meaning family and friends eagerly asked about our results, I just wanted to hide so that I didn’t have to face anyone. The bright spot in all of this was our wonderful little girl. I constantly reminded myself that we are so blessed to have her and I focused on living in the moment with her each day.
During my last appointment, of the fifth round, Ryan casually said if this round isn’t successful come back because there is one more option. I had mentioned this to my husband but we were too emotionally spent to act on it. A few months later and after many heart-to-heart conversations, my husband and I decided that we wanted to exhaust every option so that if we did not have another child at least we could say that we had done everything we could! We went back to see Ryan at Accubalance and asked what else we could do. He told me about a 90-day program to be healthier which would encourage my body to produce healthy follicles. So, in addition to the dietary changes we had already made, I added drinking nasty-tasting herbal teas and exercising 20-30 minutes a day. For the next 100 days, this became my focus. I traveled from Cloverdale to Vancouver 2-3 days a week for my acupuncture treatments, I worked out, and we ate in a healthier manner than ever before. I started to feel good about myself again and I lost 11 pounds!
Ryan also had me doing Day 3 FSH tests and in the third month, I had really good results. My husband and I contacted the fertility clinic, got an appointment the next day on someone’s cancellation, and told our doctor that we wanted to try one more round of IVF. He reviewed my history and told us that if we insisted, he would support us through another round but that our absolute best chance of getting pregnant was 5%. That’s the same as saying you have a 95% chance that this will not be successful! My husband and I were not deterred! We believed that we had to do everything possible so that if it was not successful, we could live with no regrets. Based on the information that Ryan had given me, my husband and I insisted that we change the protocol that the fertility clinic had previously used with us. After consulting with the doctor at the clinic he agreed and within five days, we had begun our sixth round of IVF! I continued the healthier lifestyle that I had begun over three months earlier and I continued my acupuncture appointments with Ryan.
As a result of this whole journey, not only do we have complete peace of mind but we also have a healthy baby boy! We now truly feel that our family is complete. We have two healthy, happy children that bring constant joy to our lives. Now we are focusing our attention on being the best parents that we can be to these two little people that have been entrusted to us. My journey now continues, not only in parenting but, in the opportunities I have to share my story, be a good listener, and encourage and empower others as they each go through their unique journeys.