Tag Archive | Infertility

Is your job killing your fertility?

How stressed do you get throughout your work day?  Are you guilty of typing away for hours as your eyes cross from staring at the screen.  Do you feel overwhelmed by a sense of doom that you will never get everything done?

That sounds miserable!  I’ll admit I’m sometimes guilty of it, too.  And when I am, I feel it. My back is sore.  I’m cranky.  My joints are stiff.  So that’s when I remind myself that I must take breaks.  A quick breather is often all it takes to gain perspective, feel centered, and stay healthy despite needing to work.  You’ll also return to work all the more productive.

Living in prolonged periods of stress blocks the release of reproductive hormones.  By taking a couple minutes here and there to de-stress during your day increases fertility.

Do it now!  This video is 2 minutes long and will rescue you from a state of stress.

For a free audio guided relaxation download to Manifest Your Baby NOW!, go here.

8 Steps to Emotionally Healing after Miscarriage

The road to pregnancy is often paved with loss.  Miscarriage.  A failed IVF cycle. Only one line on the pee stick. Aunt Flow’s unwelcome arrival.  With each disappointment, your dreams seem to drift farther away.  You feel a sharper sting each timWomanWritingInJournalOutside.jpge you see your sister, friend, or stranger sporting a cute baby bump.

As the overwhelming sense of loss buries you, how do you return to yourself? How do you take pleasure in life as you did before baby-making consumed you?  How do you recover physically and emotionally to prime for a healthy pregnancy?

How do you extract the precious gifts that grief has to offer?

I experienced a miscarriage.  Ironic considering I’m a fertility expert.  It can happen to any woman, at any age.  I just never thought it would happen to me.  In fact, the pregnancy came as a surprise, a somewhat stressful and inconvenient one at that.  I know that must be hard to imagine for those of you willing to cut off a limb in exchange for a positive pregnancy test.

For my boyfriend and me, madly in love but together for only four months at the time, both single parents who know how hard raising a child is when the parents aren’t together, the news felt daunting.  Facing my boyfriend’s upcoming deployment as a U.S. Marine and subsequent absence during the birth and first few months of our child’s life together, we were totally freaked out.  We both dreamed of getting married first then consciously making a child together, choosing to grow our family when ready, something we each missed out on the first the time around.

It took us a few weeks to accept this reality and get on the same page.  It strained our relationship. My boyfriend buried himself in the demands of the military, all but forgetting about the pregnancy.  Feeling alone, I scrambled to figure out how I would manage all this on my own during his deployment. About two months into the pregnancy, we finally surrendered and allowed ourselves to feel excited, to appreciate the promise of the new life we created together.  And then he had to go away for three weeks in preparation for his deployment.

During those three weeks, I dragged our sons to two anti-climactic prenatal appointments during which the midwife couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler. She reassured me it was most likely due to the position of my uterus.  Finally, during a third appointment at twelve weeks pregnant, the ultrasound screen revealed there was no baby.  Just an empty gestational sac around the size of 9 weeks.

Before the appointment, I thought I might feel relieved if the pregnancy wasn’t viable.  A boatload of stress would instantly lift off my shoulders. But instead, I burst into tears as the empty sac stared back at me on the screen. I kept hoping the fuzzy baby image would appear from behind a shadow and the nurse would say, “Oh there it is!  There’s your baby!  The little bugger was just hiding.”

At 14 weeks, my body finally worked up the momentum to expel the phantom pregnancy from my body.  With the physical loss, came more grief which was a sadness that my boyfriend couldn’t truly relate to.  It’s not that he didn’t feel sad, but he couldn’t experience it as I did.  He hadn’t changed his lifestyle habits to nurture a life that never was.  His hormones hadn’t taken him for a life-threatening ride.  His heart hadn’t opened as a mother’s does the minute life takes root in her womb.

And so the wave of grief washed through me, and I had no choice but to ride it.  I turned to the tools in my program and from my training to recover physically and emotionally.  I know I’m now even stronger than before.

Grief, by nature, is a lonely feeling. Loss leaves you feeling like something is missing. Like you are less than you were before.  And there’s just no way around processing grief.  Well there is, but if you avoid the process, grief will bury itself within you and cause emotional and physical disease.  It will keep trying to release itself by sending you messages, maybe in the form of a persistent cough, or skin problems, or depression or anxiety.  Unless you let it wash through you and transform itself, it makes itself at home inside you and stirs up trouble.

You may hold onto the grief out of fear of losing something more, yet it is through the process of letting go that you’re gifted the preciousness grief has to offer.  A deeper sense of peace.  An open compassionate heart.  A greater appreciation for all that you have.  Loving support from others. Ironically these gifts lead to a more fulfilling life. The deepest wounds offer the richest lessons.

You can’t skip the steps of grief.  And the steps are different for everyone.

Grief and loss need soothing, self-care, and patience.  Grief is a washing over, like ocean waves cradling you gently back to solid ground, to your life and the joy it still has to offer.  You can then put one foot ahead of the other, just as you did before, but on a new path never to be the same as before the loss.  Not a better path.  Not a worse path.  Simply a path you follow with a mark left on your heart that will forever influence your spirit.  It changes what you long for and what you cherish.

From loss you gain a deeper sense of love.  Nothing cracks open a heart and releases seeds of compassion quite like grief does.

It is SO important to FEEL grief.  To allow it.  To stop yourself from judging it. To go through the middle of the stormy scary place where it seems that the tears may never end.  But I promise, they will end.  And it actually feels so good to release the sadness. Why do we fear grief?  Why do we judge ourselves as weak or pathetic or tell ourselves we should be over it?

Grief is beautiful.  It hurts but it is the healing process.  The body knows what to do. The tears, the crying, the fatigue are all signs of the body and the spirit taking care of you. It’s the expression of acknowledgement of the preciousness of life.  Expressing that what we hold dear has meaning.

If you allow it to wash over you, taking as long as it needs to cleanse your spirit, you will return from the darkness renewed.

My boyfriend and I grew closer with this experience.  We learned more about each other and ourselves through this process than we would have otherwise, which is a gift I truly treasure.  And I know that my womb is now a more loving, welcoming, and healthy home.  I look forward to the time we choose to invite our future child to take root there.

Sign up here for FREE Instant Access to How to Prime for a Healthy Pregnancy after Miscarriage with 4 Top Fertility Experts, including me, Alisa Vitti, Jill Blakeway, and Joanne Verkuilen.

8 Steps to process loss and prepare for a healthy conception:

1.) Give yourself what you need.

If you need to be alone, be alone.  If you need to talk, reach out to a loving listener.  If you need to cry, cry.  If you need to sit and stare at the wall, stare away.  Honor and trust wherever you’re at and however you feel in each moment.  What you need will change as you go through the process.

2.)  Reach out for support.

Grief often reveals how surrounded you are by the love of others, whether it’s that of your mother or of a complete stranger.  No matter how alone you may feel, you aren’t. If the company and understanding presence of another sounds comforting, reach out. Most caring people are happy to be there for you and offer love.

3.) Nurture yourself.

Eat healthy.  Get plenty of rest.  Stay hydrated.  Go for a walk or exercise in a way you find enjoyable. Get a massage and acupuncture. Offer yourself love. The stronger your body is, the better you will be able to process the grief.  (Oftentimes, grief is heightened by physical exhaustion.)

4.) Express yourself creatively.

Writing in a journal, painting, singing, or any form of creative expression helps you find meaning in your experience and release the energy of grief.

5.) Seek out support.

Get professional support, join a support group, talk or read stories of others who experienced a similar loss. Find solace in knowing you’re not alone in your feelings and that they’re completely natural.

6.) Cry.

Cry and cry and cry as much as you need to and whenever you need to.  It’s part of the healing process.  You’re not weak if you need to cry.  It’s simply the body knowing what it needs.  Considering it a cleansing, like a detox.

7.)  Laugh.

Watch funny movies. Hang out with loved ones that make you laugh.  Laughing releases endorphins that will cheer you up.  Laughing helps you let go of grief in a fun way!

8.) Notice how you feel when you see a pregnant woman or baby.

Catch yourself if you start feeling sad thinking that you’ll never have that.  Remind yourself that you’re healing, and when the time is right, your child will come, too.

Big hug,

Heidi

Must-Make Recipe to Improve Your Egg Supply and AMH levels

Wanna guess in what part of the body eggs are replenished?

Markknochen-1

a.) Ovaries
b.) Bone marrow
c.) Teeth

If you guessed choice ‘a’ or ‘c’ , you’re wrong.  The answer is ‘b’, bone marrow.  Unbelievable, right?  At least that’s true for mice, as recently discovered by much surprised Harvard scientists. “In a series of experiments on sterile female mice, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard teaching hospital, were able to restore egg production by transplanting bone marrow from fertile mice.”

On this note, I share an ancient Chinese recipe with you to nourish your bone marrow to replenish your egg supply at the end of this blog.

But first, let me explain why this makes total sense from a Chinese medical perspective…

We are all born with Jing, which is basically your life force essence.  It’s the stuff that gets you through life.  When it’s all burned up, you die.   You inherit your Jing supply from your parents, so some of us are born with more Jing than others.  But you can burn through it more quickly, or replenish it, depending on your lifestyle and dietary habits.  Jing is stored in your kidneys, brain, ova, semen, and guess where else? Your bone marrow!

I love when modern science validates what the ancient Chinese acupuncturists knew all along!

In Chinese medicine, food and herbs are used to supplement your Jing, especially if you’re showing deficient Jing signs like low AMH and/or poor antral follicle count.  And even if you’re not, you’d be smart to keep it that way by eating Jing-nourishing foods.  Because bone marrow is a form of Jing.  Chinese doctors prescribe bone marrow soup to replenish your Jing supply.

Here’s a recipe you can make this weekend to replenish your Jing and boost egg quality.  It’s taken from a wonderful Chinese medicine cookbook written by two of my teachers that I highly recommend.

Bone-Building Stock (Makes 10 to 14 cups) 
(Taken from “Ancient Wisdom Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life” by Yuan Wang, Warren Shier, and Mika Ono) 

Once you have made the stock, simply add ingredients you prefer: veggies such as mushrooms, carrots, Chinese cabbage, or kale; and/or meat such as shrimp, chicken, beef, or pork. Season with salt or soy sauce to taste.  You can also make one large batch and freeze the broth to use later.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of cooked or raw beef, lamb, or pork bones (I strongly recommend buying organic, if available. You can often buy just bones at your local market.)
1/2 cup rice wine or white wine (the acid is necessary to draw out the marrow)
16 cups of water
1 medium size carrot (optional) chopped into 1-inch pieces (Can also use broccoli stems, mushrooms, or leeks)
1 medium-size onion chopped into 1-inch pieces

Directions:

1.) Place the bones, wine, water, and vegetables (if using) in a large pot.  If the bones aren’t covered with liquid, add water until they are.
2.) Bring to boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.  Skim off and discard any froth that rises to the top of the stock.
3.) For beef bones, simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 hours; add more water if needed.  For pork or lamb bones, simmer, covered, for at least 2 1/2 hours.
4.) Remove the bones, vegetables, and ginger from the stock, using a slotted spoon, a strainer, or piece of cheesecloth.
5.) Skim off any excess fat.  Season the stock with salt if desired (or wait to add until you cook with the stock).
6.) If you aren’t using the stock immediately, you can store it in the fridge for a few days or freeze it in small portions for later use.

References:
(“Harvard researchers have found new evidence that female mammals can produce egg cells throughout life”, Harvard University Gazett.2005)

Try my free Positively Fertile Starter Program here.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Yours in fulfilling baby dreams,

Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac.
Creator of the Positively Fertile

Shocking Harvard Discovery about Fertility and an Egg Quality-Boosting Recipe

Wanna guess in what part of the body eggs are replenished?

a.) Ovaries
b.) Bone marrow
c.) Teeth

Markknochen-1

If you guessed choice ‘a’ or ‘c’ , you’re wrong.  The answer is ‘b’, bone marrow.  Unbelievable, right?  At least that’s true for mice, as recently discovered by much surprised Harvard scientists. “In a series of experiments on sterile female mice, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a Harvard teaching hospital, were able to restore egg production by transplanting bone marrow from fertile mice.”

On this note, I share an ancient Chinese recipe with you to nourish your bone marrow to replenish your egg supply at the end of this blog.

But first, let me explain why this makes total sense from a Chinese medical perspective…

We are all born with Jing, which is basically your life force essence.  It’s the stuff that gets you through life.  When it’s all burned up, you die.   You inherit your Jing supply from your parents, so some of us are born with more Jing than others.  But you can burn through it more quickly, or replenish it, depending on your lifestyle and dietary habits.  Jing is stored in your kidneys, brain, ova, semen, and guess where else? Your bone marrow!

I love when modern science validates what the ancient Chinese acupuncturists knew all along!

In Chinese medicine, food and herbs are used to supplement your Jing, especially if you’re showing deficient Jing signs like low AMH and/or poor antral follicle count.  And even if you’re not, you’d be smart to keep it that way by eating Jing-nourishing foods.  Because bone marrow is a form of Jing.  Chinese doctors prescribe bone marrow soup to replenish your Jing supply.

Here’s a recipe to replenish your Jing and boost egg quality.  It’s taken from a wonderful Chinese medicine cookbook written by two of my teachers that I highly recommend.

Bone-Building Stock (Makes 10 to 14 cups) 
(Taken from “Ancient Wisdom Modern Kitchen: Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life” by Yuan Wang, Warren Shier, and Mika Ono) 

Once you have made the stock, simply add ingredients you prefer: veggies such as mushrooms, carrots, Chinese cabbage, or kale; and/or meat such as shrimp, chicken, beef, or pork. Season with salt or soy sauce to taste.  You can also make one large batch and freeze the broth to use later.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of cooked or raw beef, lamb, or pork bones (I strongly recommend buying organic, if available. You can often buy just bones at your local market.)
1/2 cup rice wine or white wine (the acid is necessary to draw out the marrow)
16 cups of water
1 medium size carrot (optional) chopped into 1-inch pieces (Can also use broccoli stems, mushrooms, or leeks)
1 medium-size onion chopped into 1-inch pieces

Directions:

1.) Place the bones, wine, water, and vegetables (if using) in a large pot.  If the bones aren’t covered with liquid, add water until they are.
2.) Bring to boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.  Skim off and discard any froth that rises to the top of the stock.
3.) For beef bones, simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 hours; add more water if needed.  For pork or lamb bones, simmer, covered, for at least 2 1/2 hours.
4.) Remove the bones, vegetables, and ginger from the stock, using a slotted spoon, a strainer, or piece of cheesecloth.
5.) Skim off any excess fat.  Season the stock with salt if desired (or wait to add until you cook with the stock).
6.) If you aren’t using the stock immediately, you can store it in the fridge for a few days or freeze it in small portions for later use.

References:
(“Harvard researchers have found new evidence that female mammals can produce egg cells throughout life”, Harvard University Gazett.2005)

Download your free fertility guided relaxation to manifest your baby now here.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Yours in fulfilling baby dreams,

Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac.
Creator of the Positively Fertile

How the Wisdom of Chinese Medicine and the Power of Positive Thinking Helps Fertility

For a limited time, my free webinar recording is available for listening here.

In this free webinar you will learn:Heidi

  • The most important first step on your fertility  journey…
  • How the mind-connection affects your reproductive health and why it’s crucial to establish a positive mind-body connection…
  • 5 important positive mind-body techniques for making your baby dreams come true…
  • How to apply the wisdom of Chinese medicine at home to get pregnant faster…
  • Why the Positively Fertile Program fertility exercises and meditations are so powerful…

Taught by Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac.,

Creator of Positively Fertile

Fertility Self-Acupressure Video: Increase blood flow to your uterus in 5 minutes

Learn to give yourself a fertility self-acupressure treatment while sitting in your chair.  You will increase circulation to your uterus and ovaries in just minutes.

Fertility Self-Acupressure Video

Quick Fertility Guided Relaxtion to Cultivate Miracles and Make Dreams Happen

What do you dream of more than anything?  Getting pregnant and growing your family?  Miracles happen everyday.  By growing more aware of daily miracles big and small, you open to limitless possibilities.  Cultivate miracles in your life by listening to this quick meditation.

Download your free fertility guided relaxation to manifest your baby now here.

Video: 2 Minute Fertility Relaxation to Connect Your Heart and Uterus

Invite your baby into your life by accessing your intuition and opening energy centers.  Get awesome free fertility tips here.

Video: 2 Minute Guided Relaxtion for Fertility

2 Minute Meditation on Simple Pleasures.  Even just a quick meditation reduces stress to improve blood circulation and balance hormones.
Try my free Positively Fertile Starter Program here.

3 Steps to Tap into Your Fertile Potential in the New Year

“...anything we want can be created, because the same laws that nature uses to create a forest, or a galaxy, or a star, or a human body can also bring about the fulfillment of our deepest desires.” -Deepak Chopra

Meditation

The New Year is full of potential.  With it comes the powerful energy of setting intentions.  2013 offers a fresh start and inspires the burst of momentum to manifest the fulfillment of your deepest desires, like your desire to be a parent.  It is a fertile time of year, a time of rebirth of hope.

How can you maximize the fertile potential of the New Year?  Firstly, by going within.  Secondly, by getting in touch with your deepest desires.   Thirdy, by setting your clear intentions to manifest them.  I’ll explain…

Someone dear to me told me, “You are a winner. We are all winners.  It was the winning sperm that won the race against the millions of others that made you.” How true!  We ARE all winners.  I laughed and added that the other half was the winning egg recruited over the others chosen to receive the winning sperm.

With all the details of TTC (Trying To Conceive); like timing, lubes, and sperm-friendly lubes, we may forget about the miracle of life, the same miracle from which you were conceived.  It is the miraculous seed rooted deep within your core.

This miracle is with you at every moment.  It connects you to everything thing from the beginning of time and forever after.  It connects you to galaxies, planets, and every tiny cell of each rainforest plant.  It connects you to the sun, the rain, the moon and stars and lava bursting from a volcano.

“In the deeper reality, beyond space and time, we may be all members of one body.” -Sir James Jeans

This miraculous seed of consciousness contains more power than any fertility drug or treatment.  Acupuncture, meditation, yoga, nature and creative activities help you to connect with and nurture your power from within your core.  By connecting with the miracle that you are, all your external efforts will be that much more effective, be it acupuncture, dietary changes, fertility drugs or procedures.

At the foundation of Chinese medical philosophy is the macrocosm/microcosm theory.  What is true for one tiny single cell, is true for the entire universe.  For instance, heat rises and expands while coolness contracts and sinks.   That holds true for a single cell in your body as well as for the entire cosmos.  The acupuncture healing system was developed from their close observation of nature.  The ancient Chinese depended on nature’s signals for survival.  They applied these laws to the body and created a healing system that supports Mother Nature’s determination to return to balance.

Likewise, you nurture the miracle inside of you, your true Self, to attract the miracle of life to express itself in you in the form of conception.  You hold the key to creation.

Creation is born out of intention and nurturing of one’s deepest desires.  Your desire to be a mother comes from your spirit.  Your spirit is calling you from within.  It is beckoning you to set your intention and manifest your dream.  In all the rigor-moral of TTC and the disappointments that you may face along the way, the quest for the miracle of life is soon turned outward to doctors, Google searches, books, and so on.  Weekly appointments stack up.  Suddenly you’re popping more pills than your grandmother.  You begin to compare yourself to your sister, your neighbor, your friends who seem to get pregnant without trying.  In other words, the attention is turned outward.  You lose touch with your true power within, your Self, the power that connects you to the creation of the universe.  You may start to feel down and powerless.  But remember, YOU are a WINNER.

The outward attention may be necessary.  Changing your diet, seeing a fertility specialist, and researching options all support your intentions to manifest your heart’s desires.  However, if you don’t connect with your Self, then your efforts lack their maximum potential to manifest your dreams.

Offer yourself compassion by acknowledging your feelings along the way.  With acknowledgement comes acceptance. With acceptance comes empowerment.  Accept what the situation is for you,  however different it is than you expected.  Or however different it is from your friends.  Although different, YOU are still a WINNER.  Coming to a place of acceptance is a process and an ongoing practice.  The more you connect with your Self, the more easily and efficiently you go through this process.

Trust that your divine Self is calling you to motherhood for a reason.  The Cosmos wants to support your deepest desires.  It will gather the forces to make them happen upon hearing your true spirit’s request.  It is your destiny.  Set your intention to fulfill your spirit in 2013, honor your calling, and know the miraculous power from which you came is the same force that created the constellations.  These forces will guide the intended spirit, your destined child, into your arms.

3 Steps for Maximizing Your Fertile Potential in 2013

1.) Take time to go within through relaxation, yoga, nature walks, or creative activities.  You can try my free Positively Fertile Starter Program here. This relaxation will help you to go within and access your intuition to invite your baby into your life.  You can also try a  simple 1-2 minute meditations, including a daily intention-setting meditation.  Taking just a quick moment during the day to go within helps you maintain a connection with your Self.

2.) Be clear with yourself about what you want this year and ask for it.  Reflect upon what you truly desire.  How do you feel when you imagine this dream to come true?  Why do you desire to be a parent?  Write down your reflections.

3.) Set your intentions for 2013.  As you set your intentions, stay centered and connected to your Self from within.  If you notice that you’re comparing yourself to others, come back to your heart’s desires and what your dreams mean to you.  Write out your intentions.

*I might also suggest expressing gratitude in addition to the above 3 steps.  Expressing gratitude is a sure-fire way to lift your spirits and connect with your Self.

Yours with excitement and positive intentions for the New Year,

Heidi Brockmyre, L.Ac., Creator of Positively Fertile and Fertility Acupuncturist at Zen Fertility Center in San Diego, CA