Fertility From the Soul is a resource for women who are longing for a child, struggling to conceive, and are interested in exploring natural ways to boost fertility. We view fertility from a whole person view, including body, mind and spirit. What's on our minds and in our hearts can affect what is going on in our bodies. Traditional medical science looks primarily at the body and how interventions can manipulate what's going on inside from the outside. The Fertility from the Soul approach draws from many philosophies and healing modalities. Eastern and Western philosophies are blended. Many mind-body techniques are incorporated. And thoughtfully designed roadmaps for how to navigate the myriad of options are offered to help you on your TTC journey.
My Story: Against the odds
I knew the statistics. Age age 45, low AMH (0.07), high FSH (11-33), back-to-back miscarriages due to "old eggs"....Chances of conceiving a healthy pregnancy naturally? About the same as a snowball's chance in a hot oven. Chances of conceiving with IVF? About the same as a snowball's chance in a moderately hot oven.
My response? The statistics apply to groups, not to me as an individual. I knew I could get pregnant naturally, and I'd had a healthy pregnancy at age 42, but I didn't know if I could do anything about my declining egg quality. I decided to take everything I knew and believed about health and the mind-body connection...everything I had learned in my years as a psychotherapist specializing in the mind-body connection, all the tools I had learned in my own personal growth and had developed to pass on to my clients...everything I could learn from Dr. Google about possible ways to influence egg quality....all the personal stories I watched unfolding through a cyber-sisterhood of online TTC forums....everything I could glean from various Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners I visited....I took all this information and consulted my own intuition about my body and my fertility.
Just 4 months away from my 46th birthday, I did what many women in my shoes would consider unthinkable. I took a three month break from TTC--letting three precious eggs go down the drain. I drew on everything scientific and intuitive that made sense to me, and focused on nurturing my eggs. Over that three months, I went from feeling beaten down, desperate, and depleted (the way that long-term TTC with pregnancy losses leaves you), to feeling energetic, optimistic, empowered and ready to handle whatever my fertility future had in store for me. No, I hadn't lost my mind. I was still aware of the potential for complications and had an understandable apprehension about all that. But I was feeling strong, whole, and resilient. I honestly felt 10 years younger. And even more significant than all that, I felt that I was going to be okay, regardless of whether I was able to bring a second child into our family.
After that three-month egg nurturing break, it was time to find out if my Hail Mary shot was going to make it into the basket. I'm not a sports fan, so I don't even know why I'm making basketball analogies. But it was like that "whoosh" sound when the ball goes right through the center of the basket without even touching the rim....and you were standing way past half court, maybe 3/4 court....backwards....blindfolded....with one hand behind your back. That very first cycle, I Got Pregnant with a Healthy Egg! Based on medical statistics, the odds of the backwards, one-handed, blindfolded, 3/4 court basket was probably greater than me naturally conceiving a healthy pregnancy on that one cycle. Just thinking back on it now, three years later, I can feel the whole stadium jumping to their feet and shrieking with glee and disbelief. By that time I had become part of a large community of women in an online forum who were "over 40 TTC", and we rode the treacherous waves together of hope, joy, loss, and despair. So there really were hundreds of women cheering and cyber-hugging me. And to all my TTC sisters out there, I am eternally grateful. Not everyone's fertility journey ended with the "happy ending" of a take home baby. And the sorrow of those who quietly dropped away always set heavy in my heart. My wish after all of this is that I can help other women who are in the TTC trenches, especially those who are racing against time nearing the end of their reproductive window.
Was my pregnancy success a fluke? Was it a super lucky roll of the dice? I may never know, and the research isn't far enough along to tell us how much egg quality can be improved or exactly how to influence it. But based on all I have learned, I do believe there is a very good chance that my outcome wasn't "just random" and there are many things we can do to shift the odds in our favor. I am passionate about sharing perspectives and developing tools to help you on your fertility journey. Whether you are having difficulty getting pregnant or are experiencing pregnancy losses...whether you are committed to doing things all naturally or you are incorporating medical technology....you may find many resources here that can help you along your way.
If I can help you get your Hail Mary shot through the hoop, you will hear me hollering across the ethernet. If I can help you find peace, vitality and wholeness regardless of where your fertility journey takes you, I will deeply value the time we have spent. I believe that life's challenges create opportunities that we often can't fully recognize and appreciate until farther down the road.
I wish you courage, strength, and self-compassion as you travel this sacred road toward motherhood. Warmly, Natalie Masson, Ph.D (and to my cyber-sisters, 'Harmony Heart')