Becoming a mother was one of the things I looked forward to most in my future. Like many things, though, what you wish for isn’t always what you receive. Sometimes you don’t get your desires right away, sometimes they come at an unexpected time, or in an unexpected form, or sometimes, not at all. For me, it was a long, long road to becoming a mother.
I lost two babies before my eldest daughter was born. She was (and is) my happy thought. A couple of years later, in the middle of a heavy and stressful work season, I became pregnant with twins, but the physical strain and stress shot my adrenal glands, leaving my body too weak to continue. That pregnancy was heavily monitored, but at the same ultrasound that I discovered there were two babies, I discovered their hearts had stopped beating and I had lost them both. We were devastated. After a botched surgery to remove them and a difficult recovery, I became pregnant again. And lost that baby. And right after that loss, we miscarried another one. Western Medicine was unhelpful, and gave me a 0.3% chance of carrying another child to term.
My heart was broken. So, so, broken, and so so ANGRY. Anyone who has gone through primary or secondary infertility, or through recurrent pregnancy loss, will understand the gamut of emotions a mourning heart goes through. After the loss of our sixth baby, as I sobbed in bed, my husband holding my hand, I knew things had to change. It was either the end of our journey, or a last shot, something different. “I am going to try Chinese Medicine.” I told him, and I stared at the ceiling, blinking back angry tears.
. . . . .
One year later, I was blinking away tears again. Tears of relief, tears of joy. I was holding a baby – my new baby.
From the initial phone consultation with Dr. Ryan Funk, to our very last "inducing" acupuncture session, I was thoroughly and overwhelmingly impressed.
I saw Dr. Funk weekly, sometimes twice weekly, for acupuncture sessions. After our very first in person meeting, where we went over every aspect of my past and current health, I was so relieved. Understanding that the body, mind, and spirit work together as a whole, he created and tailored a health plan to help me recover from my losses, both physically and emotionally. He gave diet advice, work-life balance advice, and even wisdom like, "go outside and see something green everyday" - suggestions I could follow that helped me feel like I was actively involved in my healing and future. This is in comparison to Western medicine, which did testing and said, "hey, your reproductive organs look good, so...we dunno."
I wasn't even nervous for our first acupuncture treatment, but instead, was amazed to feel tingles running up and down my body in waves during that first session, like things were reconnecting. That experience never happened again, but every treatment left me feeling so much better. I was also given a specific mixture of Chinese herbs to drink (which in my formula tasted like a chai tea almost!), and came in easy-to prepare little packets (like hot chocolate). Just as important, at the beginning of every session, Dr. Funk let me talk, and asked gentle questions. I remember crying once for 45 minutes, while he patiently listened and handed me kleenexes. I can't imagine a more caring provider.
Over the first couple of months of treatment, my cycles started to regulate, and became "textbook." Other health problems literally disappeared, from my exczema, to lifelong battle with seasonal allergies. As someone who is allergic to SO many things, I was in shock at the positive changes in my body. I was becoming a new, and healthier, person.
After about three months of treatment, I became pregnant. I was SO excited, but when I began bleeding as usual, I contacted Dr. Funk to let him know that I was going to lose this pregnancy as well. I will be forever grateful that he told me to come in right away...because during that emergency moxibustion treatment (like acupuncture with heated incense stickers), my miscarriage stopped. I actually felt my cervix close!
For the rest of the pregnancy, I saw Dr. Funk for acupuncture, and every session was like seeing a friend (who just happened to be an incredible doctor). I felt so safe - a feeling unusual for a woman with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss. My obstetric specialist was amazed at the differences between the pregnancy with my first daughter (I was on bedrest for multiple problems), and this one. Even my SPD (syphysis of the pubic bone), which was debilitating enough the first time that it was predicted I might need a wheelchair after a subsequent pregnancy, didn't return.
My obstetrician turned to me at one appointment and said, "This is what we call a miracle...why don't you tell me more about acupuncture?"
A miracle indeed. Thank you so much, Dr. Ryan Funk, for everything.