About eight months into our fertility journey, my energy healer recommended making an appointment with a Chinese Medicine woman, Ling, who had a proven track record of helping women get pregnant, even those who had tried and failed many times with IVF.
Today, I believe a massive part of the reason I am pregnant with a healthy baby is because of the work I did with Ling. In this blog I’ll share with you the treatments I received from her, the lifestyle changes I made per her recommendations, and how working with her was a critical factor in our fertility success. If you are going through a fertility process, I hope you find a Ling in your area.
Before I get into that, let me share a little bit about her background in case you want to find someone similar in your area. Ling was born and raised in China, where she was a doctor, and moved to the US over a decade ago. She comes from a long lineage of doctors, dating back sixteen generations. In the US Ling is a licensed acupuncturist and herbal specialist. Prior to working with Ling, I had worked with American born acupuncturists who were trained in Chinese medicine, and in my experience, it’s not even a comparison.
The first time I met with Ling she sat me down, felt my pulse, and stared into my eyes for a few minutes. I knew I was in deep sh*t during the eye-staring portion, which was super intense. Nothing was going to get past this woman. I felt like she was reading the deepest parts of my soul.
Within minutes she told me that my mind was too busy, my nutrition was insufficient, and I was too thin for a woman my age trying to carry a baby. As the session went on she told me my womb was like an ice box, and it needs to be like an incubator. Finally, my uterus lining was non-existent and needed to be fattened up.
She told me if I did what she said, I would be pregnant within four months. (She was right, I was pregnant within three. But more on that later.) Also, she said I needed to stop trying to get pregnant for a couple of months because my body wouldn’t be able to hold it. She needed (2-3 months) to build up my body condition.
I had a hard time accepting what she had to say, partially because of her very direct delivery style (including cultural differences and language barriers), but also because I wanted there to be a magic answer that would work RIGHT AWAY. I didn’t want to stop trying to get pregnant. I already felt impatient.
I got defensive when she told me my eating was too restrictive. I explained that I don’t eat dairy, grains or sugar because it helped heal my thyroid and gut. Furthermore, I eat tons of kale and all the “good stuff.” I don’t care, she said, you are treating your body as if it’s still sick, and it’s not. If you want to get pregnant, you need to change your diet and be much more relaxed about food.
I told her I meditate regularly, and if she thinks my mind is busy now, and I seem stressed, she should have met me five years ago! Again, she said if you want to get pregnant, I’m telling you that you have to relax, enjoy life, and release as much stress from your plate as you can.The countries that struggle with fertility issues are also the countries that have higher stress levels.She also said that there were still some digestive and hormonal issues despite the work I had done to heal them.
At some point she got fed up with my defensiveness, and said, what would you prefer, that I have no reason for why you’re not getting pregnant? Or would you like me to help you get pregnant? At that point, I got on board. Fully on board, even though I left her office feeling like she kicked my ass. Deep down I knew she knew what she was doing – from her mere presence – but also of course from her record of success.
My preference at that point was to take the most natural path to pregnancy possible, and this obviously was more natural than IVF.
Under her guidance I made the following lifestyle changes:
Please note that I’m sharing what worked for me, but I’m not recommending you do the same. My recommendation is to seriously consider working with someone like Ling who may have similar or different guidance based on your unique body and its specific needs.
I added back some sugar and rice. I ate lots of organic chicken, grass fed meats and seafood, plus some vegetables. I ate only warm food as well as two bowls of chicken soup (or chicken bone broth) a day. I ate more food to consciously gain some weight. At first that felt strange because I do not like the sensation of being super full. Then I learned some easy ways … being more liberal with olive oil and avocado to tack on extra calories. And the more I eased into flat out enjoying food and eating whatever I wanted, the easier it became.
The food changes helped me see that she was correct… my body responded well to all of those foods. It was in a different space and didn’t need a restrictive diet.
- Herbal medicine:
Ling gave me a big jar of molasses looking stuff that I took twice a day. Each jar lasted two weeks and I believe the price for two jars was $800. Each contained over 50 herbs, and I took them for three months, I believe. I honestly didn’t mind because I’ve heard the herbal teas are nasty and this stuff wasn’t bad. Plus, IT WORKED. More on that below…
I had weekly appointments with Ling that included acupuncture, head massages (that seriously relaxed me more than anything in my life and gave my hair great volume 😉 ) and body massages, and some occasional bitch slaps. #truth.
I have no idea how she did it but when I’d walk into her office, she’d look at me and say, you haven’t had soup in a couple of days. You haven’t had meat this week.She called me out on everything, which was great, because it kept me honest and focused on my ultimate desire: pregnancy. (There were definitely trigger moments – e.g. clothes no longer fitting comfortably – that tempted me to lean out of the process.)
In the first couple of months she gave me progress updates, and within a couple of months was tapping my belly and saying “you’re fat!” Which she 100% meant as a compliment :-), and I took it as gold star moment. Again, cultural differences LOL!
Further down the line she majorly helped my confidence and belief that my body was ready to carry a pregnancy. Her belief in her process, and in my body, helped me alleviate a lot of fear, which as anyone who has gone through a fertility journey knows, can be paralyzing.
- Relax (and be lazy)
If you’ve read any of my previous stuff you know in the past I’ve been a self-proclaimed workaholic who sourced a great deal of self-confidence and self-worth through work activities and accomplishments. Even though I had healed some of that, the majority of my mind’s busyness came from work. Since Ling really stressed the importance and necessity of seriously taking a chill pill, I had to re-evaluate my work situation.
As I saw it, there were two ways I could approach it. Respond differently to the same triggers, or reduce the triggers. Ultimately, because I had the resources to do so, I decided to reduce the triggers (which in the long run created a totally different response to them anyway). Some of the busy work for me included posting on social media and writing blogs. I can obsess over shit forever before hitting post or publish, so I took a break from social media. I also stopped taking new coaching clients in January and continued working with my existing clients, which did bring me joy. Speaking of joy…
- Enjoy life
I love feeling joyful but I’m not always the best at prioritizing joy in my life. And that became my priority. It felt super gluttonous at first, honestly. But Ling stressed this was equally as important as gaining weight and relaxing. Go shopping (sorry, husband), see friends, play with your pets, do whatever makes you happy. So I did. And THAT definitely helped heal other inner aspects that I didn’t realize were there, for example, I’m worthy without accomplishing a damn thing today. 😉 It’s safe to play on a Tuesday and not feel guilty. And much more.
- Cut back on exercise
Related to relaxing, she told me to chill on the workouts, which was kind of a tough one to swallow as I was physically in great shape again after my thyroid journey and enjoying working out more intensely. She compared her “people” to turtles who move slow, and told me I needed to do the same. I scaled back to light yoga and a lot of walking.
Honestly some of this felt counterintuitive, especially as so many books and blogs tell you the opposite. Exercise is great! Make sure you’re getting these seven hundred vitamins nutritionally to get pregnant!And maybe for some people that would work, but for me Ling’s way proved successful.
- The crippling cramps I experienced each month with my period disappeared (a few months earlier an OBGYN told me I’d need surgery to help that…um…#wrong).
- The insomnia I’d get a couple of nights before each cycle stopped.
- I could tell my body was ready and realized it hadn’t been ready all those months before. I felt super confident in my body.
- My uterus lining fattened up, as later confirmed by my fertility doctor who, on my first visit said, wow, we are not focusing on your lining today, but it is amazing.
- Just as Ling said, I got pregnant on the third month of working with her in November, right after my 40th
When the pregnancy didn’t stick, she said it is time to do IVF. She said my body condition was built up enough to carry a pregnancy, but it needed a healthy embryo, which required a healthy egg from me.
Unfortunately, at 40, most of my eggs statistically wouldn’t be healthy. She said nature has a way of kicking out an unhealthy embryo. Later, my fertility doctor said the same thing. So off I went to fetch some healthy eggs.
Blending Eastern and Western Medicine
I loved that it was my Chinese medicine doctor who ultimately convinced me it was time to do IVF. And throughout the IVF journey, I was amazed to see that even though my fertility doctor and Ling never met, and used extremely different methods and technical language, their messages were the same the whole way through the journey, which gave me a lot of confidence in the overall process. (In a fertility journey it’s super easy to doubt if you’re making the “right” decision.)
Working with both Ling and my fertility doctor, I was not only able to use my own eggs in the IVF transfer (which unfortunately isn’t possible for many women in their early 40s; some even in their 30s), but I was able to get pregnant on my first embryo transfer, which again, statistically was definitely not in my favor. And given that I only had two healthy embryos after two egg retrieval procedures (at $20K/procedure for a total of $40K), I was hoping for the biggest miracle, a positive result from the first transfer.
Finally, if you live in the Southern California area, and are interested in working with Ling, please feel free to contact her… (858) 278-4226 / 7830 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Ste 108, San Diego, CA 92111.
To read more about my IVF experience, click here.