Our fertility journey started when I had come off the pill and my menstrual cycle had not settled down. The average between each of my menstrual cycles was 55 days long, which was not ideal when we were trying for a baby. I felt very apprehensive about my fertility and ‘helpful’ comments like “oh you are still young,” just made me feel worse. I had feelings of frustration, disappointment and worry about the unknown.
My partner works away during the week, so we have limited time together. I was aware I was not getting any younger, and I was feeling that my body, my cycles were working against me. I felt I had no control in anything. We were not considered as having fertility problems, and we were told we would not be considered for IVF for another year. I felt lost in a complicated world. I wanted to make the year count.
I had heard about fertility acupuncture and started to google. I didn’t really know much about it, how successful it would be, the cost and who locally could do this. I sent an email to Lianne, she called me back and we spoke in great depth. She understood my concerns about my cycle length and was confident she could regulate my menstrual cycle. Instantly, I felt at ease with Lianne. I was able to speak openly and honestly about our situation. I came off the phone feeling really lifted and excited about our first meeting.
At our first appointment, Lianne went through my full medical history and reviewed the blood tests I had taken at the doctors. The doctor had not explained what tests they had run nor my results, but Lianne put me at ease and my mind at rest as she explained everything. Lianne picked up on some important tests that were not conducted and recommended that I visit my GP again and request a blood test for prolactin. The GP authorised this test, and it was found to be raised. I was referred to the consultant for investigation. Lianne reassured me, she answered all my questions with compassion and patience.
At no point did Lianne tell me to make any drastic life changes, lose weight, do this or that. She gave me some advice regarding food, and I switched to lemon and ginger tea. She helped to make me feel having a baby was all possible, and I felt back in charge of my own body. I felt empowered.
I decided that acupuncture would be worth pursuing and hoped it would help with our journey to getting pregnant.
Lianne demonstrated her knowledge, experience and her compassion at every appointment. Lianne was accessible and flexible; I knew her main goal was to get the best for you. My cycle had not only become regulated from 55 days to a 27-day cycle, my period was now possibly and likely late. At 28 days into my cycle, I had three positive pregnancy tests. Lianne was amazing, I continued treatment to keep everything as viable as possible.
I had experienced some bleeding, which is not always unusual in pregnancy, but still, I took a pregnancy test and the result showed that I was not pregnant.
Two more pregnancy tests showed the same – I was not pregnant. Lianne did some extra research around my prolactin, contacted a leading consultant and supported me immensely. She didn’t know just how much this meant to me at the time…
As my period did not arrive and based on some ongoing observations Lianne suggested that I really should ring the early pregnancy unit for advice and scan, as something did not seem right about this. Dealing with a miscarriage is difficult I know, but the EPU told me to just to retest and if it is negative it is negative, and I am not pregnant. I was not offered a scan by EPU at any stage or further support.
We continued the acupuncture for my wellbeing, and both Lianne and I could see the physical changes. My tummy was very swollen, I was feeling different. I did go back to my GP as recommended by Lianne, and the doctor did refer me for a scan, and I was dated at 6 weeks pregnant. At my 12 weeks scan, I was dated at 13 plus 5 days!
The sonographer said, “so at no point have you had a scan yet?” There were tears from both the sonographer and nurse as she said “well I am pleased to tell you, you are pregnant. It was an emotional roller-coaster, but the weekly acupuncture sessions, help and support Lianne gave me was invaluable. I carried on seeing Lianne until my 12-week scan. I cannot praise Lianne enough, she helped give us the amazing gift of becoming parents. Nothing was too much for her, and we consider ourselves both lucky and honoured to have met Lianne.
Later, during my pregnancy, SKY news announced the recall of pregnancy tests that I had used that were giving false negatives.
Parenthood and our son have changed our world. We knew he would. It is magical from that first unexpected heartbeat, to the first time we held him. It made every challenge we went through worth it.
- Affiliations: Professional Standards Authority
- British Acupuncture Council Member