(I am not a medical professional, nor a Chinese medicine expert. The following diet/herbal regime were created for me by my acu based on my individual body and cycles. I don't recommend starting any sort of diet like this without consulting with a doctor or trained acupuncturist)
My first acupuncture appointment was June 23, 2011. My acu told me that generally, it takes an average of 3 months for your body to make any significant changes. Well I have to say, I saw immediate changes in my body pretty much immediately after starting the acupuncture.
One thing that my acu focused on was the fact that I have poor circulation - my hands and feet are pretty much always cold. Within 4-5 sessions, I noticed that my feet weren't cold anymore and I generally felt much warmer and less sluggish. J even noticed at night, when I normally used to get into bed with icy toes and have to wear socks to sleep, now my feet were a normal temperature. It was pretty crazy to be honest. I was also sleeping much better and just had more energy in general through the day.
The other thing my acu did was put me on a fertility friendly diet. She analyzed my regular diet and determined I wasn't eating enough protein. She recommended that I eat scrambled eggs with veggies and a lean organic meat for breakfast. Also, add in more beans/lentils into soups for lunch. Dinner should be a lean meat and tons of cooked vegetables. I needed to focus on organic, whole foods. Honestly, it's probably how I should have been eating anyways, so I embraced this new way of eating.
She also told me to cut out all dairy - WHAT?!?! Was she crazy? Didn't she know that I lived for cheese, yogurt and milk? She asked me if I ever had any digestive issues after eating dairy. I said yes, sometimes. She said "You are more than likely lactose intolerant. Why don't you cut it out for 1 week and see how you feel." I figured I could do anything for 7 days - so imagine my surprised when cutting the dairy had me feeling better than I had in a long time. So yes, why I might LOVE dairy, apparently it doesn't love me.
We also discussed gluten. She said I more than likely had an intolerance to gluten and I could cut it or greatly decrease how much I was eating. While I didn't go 100% off gluten, I did cut back a lot and noticed a big change in my energy levels and had much less bloating. I was seeing incredible things happen to my body.
The other part of the circulation issue was that she didn't want me to have any cold drinks/food or raw veggies. The thinking with that is that your body has to work extra hard to digest these items (since putting cold stuff into a hot body is a shock to your system), so it takes energy away from keeping the rest of your systems normal and in tact. Of course, this was the middle of the summer, so it was hard to cut out cold drinks, ice cream, etc. The awesome part about Chinese medicine is that they believe 80% is perfection, so it was ok that I had the occasional glass of cold water. She also recommended red raspberry leaf tea, which is considered a women's fertility tea. I also needed to increase my folate intake (in addition to what I was already getting in my prenatal vitamin).
My new diet was going well and the weekly acu was super relaxing. I was still charting and noticing that I was ovulating earlier and earlier each month. My luteal phase (the time after you ovulate until you get your period) was also longer, giving any potential fertilized eggs more time to implant. I actually stopped charting in August 2011 because my cycles had become so regular and I knew what to expect.
Without charting, I was definitely less stressed and actually spent less time thinking about trying to get pregnant. I was happy, optimistic and felt great. We were coming up on our 2 year anniversary on September 5th and celebrated with a low key weekend. I had a feeling that I ovulated around that time (but again, I wasn't charting) and we joked about how funny an anniversary baby would be.
So imagine my surprise when I decided on a whim to test on September 19th and I got an extremely positive pregnancy test! Almost 3 months to the day since starting the acupuncture, I was pregnant! We were honestly shocked. It had been so long (16 months) that it didn't seem real. How was this happening now? I really credit the acupuncture, the diet and my new relaxed outlook. I think it helped to regulate my cycles, strengthened my eggs/ovulation and in general just brought a sense of balance to my mind and body.
That's our journey in a condensed, 3 part story. I'm not saying that acupuncture is a cure-all and I'm very aware that our story was short and sweet compared to many couples. We feel blessed and grateful. I'm so happy to be pregnant and I've tried to appreciate and enjoy every day of this pregnancy. You never know what cards life is going to throw you, so I try not to judge or make assumptions about other people now, because you just don't know what they are going through. I hope this helps anyone going through a similar experience!
Now back to regular postings - I have SO many updates about the baby and the nursery!!